The Royal Oman Police (ROP) announced on Wednesday, April 29, that checkpoints will be lifted across Oman as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions begin to ease. The measures do not apply to individuals operating on roads linked to the province of Muscat, where the lockdown remains in place until Friday, May 8. Under the lockdown measures, all movement into and out of the province will be prohibited until 10:00 on May 8. Additionally, as of Tuesday, April 28, some shops and businesses resumed their operations, including electronic shops, auto repair workshops, rental car offices and foreign exchange firms.
A previously announced ban on mass gatherings ahead of the start of Ramadan on Tuesday, April 21, remains in place. Individuals are advised to avoid all gatherings and mosques remain closed for the duration of Ramadan.
Furthermore, the commercial market area in Jalan Bani Bu Ali (Al-Sharqiyah South province) remains under quarantine until further notice. The Muttrah district (Muscat province) remains under indefinite quarantine, with all entry roads closed. Exemptions have been made for food and medical supplies, as well as for medical services.
As of Tuesday, March 24, all international and domestic flight operations remain suspended. Border crossing points via land, sea, and air remain closed to all individuals except citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. All individuals entering Oman will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Cargo flights are exempt, as will flights to Musandam province. Authorities have also banned public gatherings, closed parks, and suspended Friday prayers and weddings.
As of Thursday, April 30, there have been 2274 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 10 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
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