Muscat: The announcement by Oman’s Supreme Committee about the resumption of tourist visa issuance yesterday brought a collective sigh of relief to the service providers in the travel industry and also hotels.
The Supreme Committee had ordained the tourists visas issued will be through hotels and destination management companies. All necessary precautions and COVID-19 compliant measures nevertheless will continue to be enforced.
Ryan Cornelio, Associate Director of Sales at Sheraton Oman Hotel, said he has been flooded with messages and calls about visa requests from overseas tour groups that normally visit Oman during this season. Oman’s cooler months, which bring the essence of a European summer, offer a respite to visitors from the Western countries as well as from countries like Russia.
“This announcement was much needed and much awaited, and now with the season also getting active, and with the news on vaccine too around the corner, 2020 seems to be ending well. We are yet to get the finer details regarding visa issuance, as many guests are primarily concerned with the quarantine requirement. We are awaiting some announcements on that as well,” Ryan said. He added wedding halls, and Christmas preparations will get active right away, as would many hotels in the capital.
Since November 11, Oman issued a new set of guidelines for all arriving passengers to the Sultanate. As per the circular, all passengers travelling to Oman must get a negative COVID-19 PCR test done 96 hours before the scheduled arrival to Oman.
There is also a mandatory quarantine period of seven days from the date of arrival in Oman even if the passenger tests negative in the PCR test done on arrival at the Muscat International Airport.
After seven days, the passenger has to take another PCR test to end the quarantine. For those who do not want to take a PCR test at the end of 7-day quarantine, the period of quarantine will continue till the 14th day from the date of arrival.