Oman studies canceling COVID-19 tests for travel between GCC countries

Oman said it will study the possible cancellation of COVID-19 tests for people moving between Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) who have received both doses of the vaccine.

In a press conference held on Thursday by the Supreme Committee, the sultanate announced that starting Oct. 1, receiving the two COVID-19 vaccine doses would be mandatory for all people living in the country.

“No Omani citizen who is abroad and has not been vaccinated will be prevented from returning to Oman, provided that precautionary measures are followed,” Omani Health Minister Ahmed Mohammed Al-Sa’eedi said.

The country has also announced a 100 percent return to work for all government sector offices and institutions starting Sep. 1, Saif bin Salem Al-Abri, the Director General of Disease Surveillance said.

Meanwhile, the land ports between Oman and the UAE will be reopened starting Sep. 1, according to conditions set by Oman’s Supreme Committee, state news agency ONA reported.

The conditions include receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and test before coming to the boarder and not upon arrival, the country’s Directorate General of Disease Surveillance said.

It further said the Supreme Committee would issue a decision next week regarding resuming social, economic, and cultural activities.

All visas issued since the beginning of 2021 will be extended until the end of the year without any additional fees, Major General Abdullah bin Ali Al-Harthy, Assistant Inspector General of Police and Customs for Operations said.

The decision to hold events and activities has not been implemented yet, he added.

Oman has so far administered over 8,570,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, Health Minister Al-Sa’eedi said.

The Sultanate has recorded 101 new coronavirus cases and two deaths, local daily Times of Oman reported.