Oman brings in mandatory quarantine for arrivals as land borders close

Omani citizens have 10 days to return over land borders

Look at the Corniche, Muthra, Muscat, Oman (Photo by: Bildagentur-online/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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All incoming travellers to Oman will face institutional quarantine, the country's Supreme Committee for Coronavirus announced on Wednesday.

It did not give further details on whether the quarantine would be hotel-based or with location tracking bands, but said arrivals will have to bear the expense.

Land borders will be closed to all but delivery vehicles with Omani citizens being given 10 days to get home.

“All citizens outside the sultanate who wish to return through the land ports are allowed to enter the sultanate,” the statement said.

“This permit is valid for a period of 10 days only, extending from the time of publishing this statement until twelve o'clock in the morning of Sunday, February 21, 2021, after which individuals will not be allowed to pass until the land ports are reopened.”

The decision to enforce an institutional quarantine was made because of a "lack of commitment of many to home health isolation and violation of [coronavirus measures]" the committee said.

The Supreme Committee urged Omanis not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

"The committee reaffirms the need to avoid the travel of citizens and residents outside the sultanate during the coming period unless absolutely necessary, especially as many countries have tightened travel and travel procedures, and it also recommends limiting the travel of citizens and residents outside the sultanate on official missions."

The announcement came as Dr Adel Al Wahaibi, director of the epidemiological surveillance department at the country's health ministry, discussed implementing another lockdown to halt the spread of the virus, after 200 cases of variants were discovered.

Instead, all beaches and parks will close from Friday for two weeks, while a night-time lockdown was introduced in the governorate of North Shariqiyah.

Oman's Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday that the total number of positive Covid-19 cases in the Sultanate was 136,377, while the number of recoveries was 128,255.

Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19-related deaths was 1,537, the ministry said.

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