Thursday, June 08, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 18, 1444 H
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3 PCR tests make travel a costly affair

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Travel during a pandemic leaves a big hole in the budget with three coronavirus tests and institutional quarantine for families.

If one is flying back from abroad, one must undergo three PCR tests for Covid-19 costing RO 25 each; before departure, upon arrival and after 8 days of home or institutional quarantine.

For those families with more members, it is a huge burden on top of exorbitant air fares. The bill goes up if one is coming back to the Sultanate from a third country after 14 days of quarantine in a hotel.

Many citizens and residents are pleading with authorities for exempting or reducing the number of PCR tests at least for those who are fully vaccinated.

Awadh al Hashami called upon authorities to reconsider travel requirements and waive off tests for double-jabbed. They can do away with one test on arrival as they have already done that in the destination of origin.

“Such an exemption would encourage those who haven’t taken the vaccine so far. Many people find themselves obliged to pay for tests close to the ticket price which is a burden if they want to travel,” Al Hashmi said.

Social media is galore with demands for ease in test requirements as the Sultanate is preparing to open up air travel amid fall in coronavirus cases and increase in the vaccination of target groups and children.

According to the decisions of the Supreme Committee, travellers coming to Oman must wear the Tarrasud+ bracelet and undergo three three PCR tests. Omanis must quarantine at home and expatriates in institutions for 7 days.

Last Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported 224 new cases and 6 deaths. The total number of recoveries is 287,244 taking the recovery rate up to 96 per cent.

The National Immunisation Campaign is also in a full swing as 2,008,140 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Sultanate, representing 57 per cent of the targeted population. The number of those who took the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine stood at 1,359,622 comprising 68 per cent. The number of those who were fully vaccinated stood at 648,518 comprising 32 per cent, according to the latest updates.

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