ROP lifts ban on wearing surgical masks while driving

Muscat: With Oman reporting more Covid-19 cases and taxis back on service, the Royal Oman Police has temporarily lifted the ban on wearing masks while driving.  It is strictly prohibited to cover your face while on road but the current situation has urged the Royal Oman Police to consider it as an exceptional case.

Earlier there was a fine of up to RO 50 for wearing a surgical mask and driving and the act was considered as a traffic offence.  The major concern is the challenge in identifying the driver when only eyes are visible.  Currently, surgical mask usage is not considered as a violation.

Meanwhile, the Royal Oman Police announced on Thursday that the traffic accident in the Sultanate has seen a reduction of 74%.  In the announcement, the Royal Oman Police congratulated the citizens and residents saying, “Thanks to Allah and your commitment, we have reached high-level standard in traffic safety.”

Colonel Ali al Falahi, Asst Director General of Traffic, Royal Oman Police confirmed to Observer, “The drivers currently using medical masks are not liable to be fined.”

The taxi drivers predominantly have been using surgical masks  as they interact with the commuters on a daily basis.   The taxi services have strict safety guidelines to follow as per the regulations announced by the Ministry of Transport recently.  On Thursday Taxis were allowed to be operational as not to disrupt the commuting of employees although other public transport means have come to a still.  The taxis have to reduce the number of passengers to four at all time including the driver.  This is to guarantee there is enough space between passengers.  The vehicles have to be disinfected during each trip.

“The taxi drivers have actually been providing us with hand sanitizer as we enter the taxi,” said a regular taxi user.  He was concerned when the announcement of halt on taxis that came along with other public transportation on Wednesday.

The public has also opted for gloves and medical masks while shopping at supermarkets.