Muscat corniche
The Muscat corniche aglow in the night. An Oman Air ticketing staff said bookings from India registered an increase immediately after the announcement of the lifting of the flight ban. Image Credit: Supplied

Muscat: All arrivals to Oman, before boarding the plane, are obligated to present an immunisation certificate that includes a QR code stating that they have received two doses of a vaccine approved by the Sultanate, or one dose in the case of Johnson & Johnson. Importantly, the vaccine should have been taken 14 days before the scheduled date of arrival in the Sultanate.

Vaccines approved by Oman

Oman has approved the use of Pfizer-Biontech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Sputnik V. Meanwhile, Oman’s embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania shared an official document in which it clarified that among the approved vaccines in the Sultanate were Moderna and Johnson & Johnson as well.

The Covishield vaccine that’s administered widely in India is also approved for entering into Oman. Many Indians holding Oman resident cards who we were held up in India due to flight restrictions had taken Covishield vaccine shots. Covishield is a vaccine developed in India in collaboration with AstraZeneca Oxford.

India had sent a batch of Covishield AstraZeneca vaccines in January this year that was used for vaccination in Oman.

Ticket sales show a sharp spike

Travel agents confirmed that there was a sharp demand for tickets, especially to Indian destinations like Kochi, Calicut, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

An Oman Air ticketing staff said bookings from India registered an increase immediately after the announcement of the lifting of the flight ban.

Oman Air, Salam Air, Air India and Air India Express will begin operating normal scheduled flights from September 1 to Indian cities within their operational network. Oman’s carriers will be back to operating their scheduled flights to other cities that are now off the banned list.

No mandatory institutional quarantine

International passengers arriving in Oman holding a negative PCR test that can be verified through a QR code are exempted from the mandatory institutional quarantine that is currently in force.

The PCR test should have been taken 96 hours before the scheduled flight time for long-haul flights (8 hours duration or more) including transit time. For shorter haul flights, the PCR test should have been take 72 hours prior to the flight.

Passengers arriving in Oman without the PCR test done that shows a negative result will have to undergo the mandatory 7-day institutional quarantine.