COVID-19: Oman Closes Borders to Foreigners for Ramadan

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Starting on 8 April 2021, foreign nationals cannot enter Oman. The Sultanate has made the decision to close the borders to visitors due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases.

Only Omani citizens and residents of the country will be able to travel to the state during the month of Ramadan.

This comes as one of a number of new restrictions. Oman’s Supreme Committee is also introducing a 7-hour curfew during the Islamic holy month.

Oman’s travel ban for foreigners will continue until further notice. The hope is that these measures will lower the number of COVID-19 cases quickly and that international travel will re-open soon.

Rising Cases Means More COVID Restrictions in Oman

The number of new infections of COVID-19 per day has risen in recent weeks. April has begun with more than 1,000 new cases daily. Oman has taken a number of steps to combat this.

That said, the figures for recoveries are also high and the new coronavirus restrictions should help to bring the numbers of new cases back down.

New measures taken by Oman include:

  • Entry ban for foreign nationals (except residents of Oman)
  • Nightly curfew during Ramadan (21:00-04:00)
  • Non-essential commercial premises to remain closed during curfew hours
  • All public gatherings banned during Ramadan

In line with the new rules and the Oman visa policy, foreigners can currently travel to the Sultanate only if they have a resident visa.

Oman’s Travel Restrictions

The latest restriction is to prohibit the entry of visitors from abroad. This is likely to be a temporary measure. Once cases of COVID-19 begin to go down, travelers with an Oman eVisa will be able to visit the country once again.

In addition to the new ban on foreign visitors, Oman has a number of coronavirus travel restrictions already in place.

Omani nationals and foreign residents who are allowed to return to the Sultanate must comply with the following rules:

  • Take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test no more than 72 hours before they arrive
  • Install the “Tarassud+” app on their mobile device
  • Take another PCR test after arrival
  • Quarantine at a government-approved hotel or isolation center for at least 7 days, until the test results come back negative

The quarantine accommodation must be booked before traveling to Oman on the Sahala platform.

Oman’s land borders also remain closed, except for commercial goods.

Foreign residents of Oman are currently prohibited from returning to the country if they have been in the following places in the past 14 days:

  • Brazil
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Lebanon
  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania

This measure is to prevent the spread of new variants of COVID-19.

Restrictions Within Oman for Ramadan

Many of the new rules imposed by the Supreme Committee of Oman will affect those inside the country during the holy month of Ramadan.

The curfew will mean that everyone must stay at home between 9 pm and 4 am. During these hours, all businesses must close (except those deemed essential). The movement of individuals and vehicles is banned during the curfew.

Only pharmacies, health facilities, and other essential services will be open.

Gatherings will be banned during Ramadan. This extends to Taraweeh prayers at mosques and Iftar banquets.

Other activities that will be temporarily prohibited include:

  • Sports
  • Social gatherings
  • Cultural activities

As usual, it is necessary to comply with the ongoing COVID-19 regulations in Oman. These include wearing a face mask in public and practicing social distancing.

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