Oman brings in travel restrictions as Omicron cases rise

Sultanate bans entry from six African countries in an effort to slow spread of new variant

The sultanate has banned entry to passengers from six African countries. Photo: The National

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Oman on Tuesday reported 15 new cases of the Omicron variant and has introduced emergency travel restrictions for those entering the country effective immediately.

The sultanate has banned entry to passengers from six African countries to stop the spread of Omicron.

"The hospitals in Oman have detected 15 new Omicron cases. To prevent further spread, the Civil Aviation Authority has banned the entry of travellers from six countries, which are South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique effective from Tuesday until further notice," state-run Oman TV reported.

All passengers arriving in Oman must be twice vaccinated and have a PCR test result from within 48 hours, overruling the previous PCR rule of 72 hours, the broadcaster said.

Oman TV also said the third booster rule has been revised after the new Omicron cases.

"Instead of a six-month requirement to get the third booster from the second vaccination, the period has been reduced by half to only three months, after the new Omicron cases reported," it reported.

Oman detected its first Omicron cases last week, with 12 people testing positive for the variant as the sultanate announced a booster vaccination programme for people over the age of 18.

The health authorities have also ordered all indoor public places, including malls, shops, schools and hotels to restrict their business to 50 per cent capacity until further notice. Weddings and funerals have been banned.

Updated: December 21st 2021, 10:50 AM