Omani authorities clarify restrictions on international travel beginning Oct. 1; other COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.
Alert Begins 01 Oct 2020 02:40 PM UTC
Alert Expires 31 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Travel and business disruptions, increased security
Omani authorities have clarified entry and exit restrictions as international travel resumed Oct. 1. Flights arriving into the Sultanate are currently only valid for Omani and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals, as well as Omani residents who possess valid residency visas. Non-Omani nationals are required to have international health insurance that covers coronavirus disease (COVID-19) expenses for at least one month. Foreign nationals who do not have valid residency visas should seek approval via their airline. Alternatively, their sponsors can contact the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
All arrivals must download the "Tarassud+" mobile application before entering Oman. All arrivals over the age of 15 will be subject to a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. If travelers are staying in Oman for less than seven days, they can end their self-isolation upon receiving a negative test result. Travelers staying in Oman for more than seven days are required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days and wear a tracking bracelet for the duration of self-isolation. Omani nationals and residents do not require prior approval to exit the Sultanate. Other COVID-19 measures in effect are included below:
- Oman Air (WY) has resumed flights to 20 countries.
- Domestic public transport resumed Sept. 27. Mosques are scheduled to reopen Nov. 15.
- Most nonessential businesses have reopened. Businesses that have reopened must comply with social distancing guidelines and other safety directives.
- Companies are allowed to operate at 50-percent workforce capacity, provided they can comply with social distancing and other safety guidelines.
- Restrictions are in place in Dhofar governorate banning all travel to and from the governorate. Police patrols and checkpoints have been increased to ensure that these measures are enforced.
- Public gatherings are banned. Parks, beaches, and other public spaces are closed. Tourist sites, including Jebel Al Akhdar and Jebel Shams, remain closed until further notice, with entry and exit prohibited.
- The use of protective face coverings in public spaces and transportation remains mandatory.
- All educational and religious institutions are closed until further notice.
- Residents and nationals may leave Oman through land ports, but they must stay for two weeks in the country they traveled to. Restrictions are in place if travelers wish to return via land ports.
Authorities could introduce new preventive measures or further ease restrictions, depending on disease activity in the coming days and weeks.
Background and Analysis
Oman's travel restrictions and preventive measures are similar to actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.