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Oman will allow travellers from the UAE to enter the sultanate via land crossings from September 1 as Covid-19 infections drop to record lows, the government in Muscat announced.
Oman’s committee responsible for the management of Covid-19 made the announcement during its weekly meeting broadcast live by Oman Television.
“The land borders between Oman and the UAE will be open on September 1. People who will be travelling from the two countries using the land borders will need to be vaccinated and will be required to do PCR tests too,” Dr Said Al Abri, director general of disease control at the Health Ministry, said during the televised meeting.
From 00.01 hours on Wednesday, people who have had both doses of a Covid-19 jab can travel to the sultanate. The news has been welcomed by Omanis and expatriates alike.
“I was waiting for this news for months now, for the borders to be opened. I missed [driving] to Dubai to shop and to relax. It is good news and my family and I will be among the first people to go through the Oman-Dubai border on the very first day of opening,” Salah Al Harthy, 38, a civil servant in Muscat, told The National.
Expatriates who owned businesses on both sides of the border or live close by also welcomed the decision.
“I have a building material shop in Sohar [in Oman], which is only an hour and a half's drive to Hatta in Dubai [emirate], where I have a restaurant. My business in Hatta was not going well when the land borders between the two countries was shut. It is good the borders are opening now to give me an opportunity to put my business in Dubai in good order,” Suhail Jamal, 46, a Turkish businessman in Sohar, told The National.
Oman has shut borders or banned visitors several times since the pandemic began in late 2019 in an attempt to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The border closed again early this year because of concerns about the more contagious Delta variant of the virus.
In June, Oman said that it would allow workers from GCC countries to enter for business reasons and travellers would need to present a letter from their employer stating why they had to make the journey.
Oman on Wednesday reported only 101 infection cases and just two Covid-19 deaths. Last month, infections reached 2,000 per day and up to 35 deaths a day.