Travellers must take Covid-19 test upon arrival

MUSCAT: Those who are coming from abroad are required to take PCR soon after arrival and again take the same test after seven days of quarantine.

Changes were made to the COVID-19 testing protocol on Monday because 75 percent of travelers coming to the Sultanate showed coronavirus symptoms in the first seven days after arrival. Earlier, travelers were to take PCR test after 14 days of quarantine

The Supreme Committee on Sunday announced that people arriving in the Sultanate from abroad (all borders) have to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within a period of not more than 96 hours prior to entry time.

Of the total 14,302 travelers screened from October 21-27, 810 were tested positive.

Speaking to the Observer, an official source with the national airline said that the airline will be soon notified by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on new protocols. “Passengers will get enough time to get tests done as per the Ministry of Health guidelines.”

Dr. Saif bin Salem al Abri, Director-General of Disease Control, said, “There are three types of quarantine – seven days for travelers, ten days for positive cases, and 14 days for contacts. Anyone who has completed seven days of quarantine in Oman can from Monday go and do PCR test, and if it is negative, s/he can get out of the quarantine, surrender the bracelet, and register in a health institution.”

All travelers will be examined in the Sultanate, and if it appears that there are differences in the tests, whether positive or negative, appropriate measures will be taken, Dr. Al Abri said.

International travel body (IATA) recently said that governments should safely reopen borders without quarantine by implementing systematic, rapid testing of all international travelers before departure.

“COVID-19 testing before departure is the preferred option as it will create a “clean” environment throughout the travel process. Testing on arrival, with the potential for quarantine at destination in the event of a positive result, could impact traveler confidence.”

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