Mandatory 7-day institutional quarantine for travellers begins

The practice of institutional quarantine for all incoming passengers mandated by the Supreme Committee started on Monday. Authorities have shortlisted some 45 hotels as an optional choice for choosing them as isolation accommodation facilities. The committee decided on 7-day mandatory institutional quarantine for all arrivals through land, sea and airports and the visitors have to bear the expenses as many did not comply with home quarantine and others violated the measures approved by the Supreme Committee. This resulted in a surge in Covid-19 cases in the Sultanate. The Ministry of Health (MoH) on Monday reported 286 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases registered in the Sultanate to 137,592.

The ministry also reported one Covid-related death, taking the total death toll to 1,543. The total recovery cases reached 129,291, putting the recovery rate at 94 per cent. Twenty patients were hospitalised during the past 24 hours, taking the number of inpatients in hospitals to 128, including 41 in intensive care units (ICUs). The relief and shelter sector affiliated to the National Centre for Emergency Management said it has coordinated with a group of hotels for institutional quarantine in various governorates. Inbound visitors can book through electronic platforms such as ‘booking’ and others to obtain suitable prices.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that the airlines must ensure that the passengers have confirmed hotel reservations for a period of at least seven nights. People coming to the Sultanate will be notified upon arrival about the hotels designated for isolation. The visitors have to bear the cost of institutional quarantine. They can, however, book any other hotel, off the list, according to their choice. The 45 shortlisted hotels are as follows: 19 in Muscat, two in Musandam, three in Dhofar, four in Buraimi, one in Al Batinah South, three in Al Batinah North, three in Al Sharqiyah South, four in Al Sharqiyah North, five in Al Dakhilyiah and one in Al Wusta.

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Committee reiterated that citizens and residents should avoid travelling abroad during the upcoming period unless it is necessary as many countries have toughened restrictions on travel and movement. The committee also recommended reducing the travel of citizens and residents outside the Sultanate for official missions and participation. It confirmed that it will close any establishment which did not comply with the precautionary measures.