Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Oman suspends tourist visas for all countries from March 15 for a period of one month. Further travel restrictions likely.

This alert affects Oman

This alert began 12 Mar 2020 20:13 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Start Time/Date: March 15
  • Impact: Entry restrictions; health screenings; likely increased immigration wait times

Summary
Authorities announced the suspension of all tourist visas for a period of 30 days effective March 15. Port authorities will deny cruise ships entry into the Sultanate during this period. Officials have taken the measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced March 2 that officials will bar travelers from countries affected by COVID-19 from entering Oman, as part of the nation's efforts to prevent the spread of the disease. The Ministry did not specify which countries are part of the ban. Oman Air (WY) had previously suspended flights to China and Iran until further notice. The Omani Civil Aviation Authority suspended tourism flights from Italy to Oman's Salalah International Airport (SLL) through March.

Background and Analysis
The WHO has declared the ongoing outbreak of the virus to be a global pandemic. COVID-19 originated in Wuhan City in China's Hubei Province. As of March 11, the Omani Ministry of Health has confirmed 19 cases of the disease; the majority of infected individuals had traveled from Iran.

Advice
Individuals affected by the restrictions should postpone planned travel. Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.