Oman extended the closure of its land border among other strict precautionary measures on Wednesday to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
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The current Covid-19 pandemic situation in Oman and around the world were discussed at today's Supreme Committee meeting, chaired by Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal Al Busaidi, Minister of Interior, Oman News Agency reported.
In light of the consecutive waves and new virus strains witnessed around the world, the Supreme Committee announced new measures to limit the impact of the rapid spread and the sharp spike in cases. The committee studied the results of the epidemiological investigation regarding the causes of the virus spread including non-compliance of precautionary measures, attending social gatherings, not following quarantine guidelines and failing to wear face masks.
The Supreme Committee announced the following precautionary measures:
- To keep Oman's land ports closed until further notice with the exception of trucks.
- Omani citizens will be allowed to return to the country through land ports for 10 days - starting from the time of publication of the decision - until 12 am on February 21 (Sunday) after which individuals won’t be permitted to pass through the land ports until the land ports are reopened.
- Individuals won’t be permitted to pass through land borders after the 10-day grace period until the land ports are reopened. All Omani citizens entering the Sultanate through land ports should undergo institutional quarantine at their own expenses as well as the other procedures imposed on arrivals to the Sultanate.
- The Supreme Committee also decided on a mandatory institutional quarantine for all arrivals through land, sea and air ports on their own expenses as many did not comply with home quarantine and others violated the procedures approved by the Supreme Committee.
- Closure of all commercial activities in North Al Sharqiyah Governorate from 7pm to 6am starting Friday (February 12) for 14 days with the exception of fuel stations, health institutions and private pharmacies.
- Closure of beaches and public parks in all governorates of Oman starting from February 11 for two weeks.
- Ban on all forms of gatherings at rest houses, farms, winter camps and other places.
- Restriction on family gatherings inside houses and other places.
- Reducing entry by 50 per cent at service halls at public and private establishments as well as shopping centres, restaurants, coffees and indoor sports activities, starting from February 12, until further notice.
- To lessen the economic impact of the pandemic and mitigating the financial burden on entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises, the committee decided to delay the payment of due installments for these enterprises to the Rafd Fund (formerly) from January 1 to the end of June, 2021.
The Supreme Committee decided to offer facilitations for the beneficiaries from the Sanad Programme and Mawarid Al Rizq (formerly). The facilitations will be announced by the relevant authorities later on.
The Supreme Committee advised citizens and residents to avoid travel outside the country during the upcoming period unless it’s necessary as most countries have toughened restrictions on travel.
The committee also recommended reducing travel of citizens and residents outside the Sultanate for official missions and participation.
Relevant authorities will continue to monitor the situation and penalise Covid rule violators - as well as publicly naming them.
The Supreme Committee added that it will close any establishment that fail to comply with the precautionary measures.
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