MUSCAT: The Supreme Committee tasked with tackling developments resulting from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic held a meeting today under the chairmanship of Sayyid Hamoud Faisal al-Busaidi, Minister of Interior.
The meeting, held at the Interior Ministry, followed updates on the pandemic, measures of protection against Covid-19, ways of tackling its impacts and means of curbing the spread of the virus.
The Supreme Committee studied the epidemiological scenario of Covid-19 worldwide as indicated by the latest data about the virus and its different variants. It also reviewed the situation in different countries that experienced rapid spread due mutated strains of the virus that eventually caused a huge surge in infections in the Sultanate, with the number of inpatients multiplying in hospital wards and intensive care units, in addition to a spate in death cases.
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To protect all individuals of society against this pandemic and, to safeguard the capability of the health system in the Sultanate to handle this disease and other services, the following has been decided:
First: The evening closure of commercial activities and the ban on movement of individuals and vehicles shall continue to take effect from 5 pm everyday till 4 am the next day, starting from Friday, 16 July 2021 to the morning of Saturday, 31 July 2021, except on the three days of Eid Al Adha (10 to 12 Dhul Hijjah 1442 AH), in which the lockdown on commercial activities and ban on movement of individuals and vehicles shall continue all day long (throughout the three days of Eid).
Second: The Governorate of Musandam is exempted from the decision of closure of commercial activities and ban on movement of individuals and vehicles due to the low number of infections and hospitalized Covid-19 patients there. This decision starts to take effect from today, with emphasis on the population in Musandam Governorate taking full precautions as indicated earlier, like wearing face masks and refraining from gatherings.
Also, it is not allowed to visit the Governorate of Musandam, except for people who have taken at least one dose of the approved vaccine in the Sultanate (from among citizens and residents aged 18 years and above), as well as travellers from abroad who took two doses of the vaccines. This decision takes effect from 5 pm from Friday, 9 July 2021, till further notice.
Third: Lifting the ban on travellers arriving from Egypt to the Sultanate. Yet, a new list of travel-ban countries has been added, and these are Singapore, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Libya, Argentina, Columbia, Brunei Darussalam. Travellers from the above-mentioned countries are not allowed to enter the Sultanate with effect from 5 pm of Friday, 9 July 2021, till further notice. The same ban applies to travellers who happened to have visited the above-mentioned countries within 14 days from applying to enter the Sultanate.
Upon the advent of the monsoon rains season in the Governorate of Dhofar (Khareef), it has been decided that citizens and residents in the Sultanate who have taken at least one dose of approved vaccines (from among those aged 18 years and above) are allowed to visit the Governorate of Dhofar. Also, those who took two doses of the vaccines from among travellers from abroad will be allowed to enter the Sultanate. The decision takes effect from 5 pm on Friday, 9 July 2021 till further notice. It is a condition that occupancy in hotels and furnished apartments shall not exceed 50% in the Governorate of Dhofar. All approved precautionary measures have to be undertaken as stated by the authorities concerned earlier.
The Supreme Committee stresses that no Eid Al Adha prayers, no traditional pre-Eid souqs (habta) and no gatherings are allowed in all sites and governorates of the Sultanate. This ban includes family gatherings, Eid greeting assemblies and collective celebrations of the Eid.
The Supreme Committee stresses that the decisions of closure of all land border checkpoints of the Sultanate continue to take effect and that international activities and conferences be suspended in the Sultanate till further notice. All celebration halls have to be closed, and so shall related activities like the leasing of tents. All local activities of public nature shall be suspended, and this includes sports activities and exhibitions of all types.