BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Last year’s Hari Raya celebrations were sombre amid COVID-19 restrictions, and even though Brunei has not reported any community transmission for almost a year, the Ministry of Health said citizens must still exercise caution.

Although the country entered Level 5 of de-escalation on March 8 — easing most COVID curbs in a stage called the “new normal” — coronavirus infections are surging globally and the government’s vaccination plan is still in its early stages.

In view of this, there will still be come restrictions on Hari Raya gatherings this year, similar to those put in place for Lunar New Year celebrations.

Eid can be celebrated by organising private events, but invited guests must be limited to immediate family and close friends, said MoH.

Here are the guidelines in full:

1. Hosts are advised to schedule private events at home appropriately, so as to prevent overcrowding at any one time, taking into account the size of one’s home.

2. Large families with limited home space who wish to organise a private event are advised to hold the event at a hall and adhere to the current guidelines, including the current mass gathering limit and scanning the BruHealth QR code when entering the premises.

3. Anyone who is unwell or experiencing flu-like symptoms should not be allowed to visit or be visited by their family members.

4. The practice of shaking hands and hugs during Eid is not recommended. It is sufficient to give a gesture of greeting by placing the hand over the chest, smiling, or nodding the head as a sign of respect and greeting. Avoid as much as possible any attempts to touch or make physical contact with others.

5. Ensure good personal and environmental hygiene, especially with your hands.

6. Practice correct cough and sneeze etiquette at all times.

7. Avoid sharing food and drink utensils such as spoons, forks, plates and glasses.