With Oman going on lockdown from May 8 till May 15, Eid holidays could well start from this weekend itself. Image Credit: Supplied

Muscat: With Oman going on lockdown from May 8 till May 15, effectively putting a temporary stop to commercial activities throughout the day, Eid holidays for many citizens working in the capital with homes in interior towns, could well start from this weekend itself.

Per the decision of the Supreme Committee all commercial activities, which only excludes sale of foodstuff, filling stations, clinics, pharmacies and hospitals, would remain closed through the day from May 8 Saturday till May 15. People and vehicular movement will be allowed till 7pm in the night, with strict surveillance between 7pm and 4am. Oman has also declared Eid Holidays which could possibly be from Wednesday, May 12 till May 15, if the Eid Al Fitr falls on May 13.

The holiday algorithm will depend now mainly on the lockdown that will see business enterprises and offices in both private and government sectors, close down temporarily from May 8, which is in another five days. The online work mode will be activated in all state apparatus and private sector has also been advised to reduce the staff strength and work in adherence to the stipulations of Supreme Committee.

Majid Al Balushi, working for a shipping company in Muscat says that he will go to his home town, as he has been asked to work from home. “My home town is in Al Hamra, which is a good two hours journey from Muscat. I would go to my family home in Hamra on Thursday itself and return only after the lock down and Eid.”

Busy malls

Many like Majid whose home is in interior towns, stay in rented apartments in the capital city and commute to their home town on weekends. With the lockdown in place from May 8, the roads to interior towns will be choc-a-bloc this coming Thursday.

This week will also see unprecedented footfall in malls and hypermarkets as this is the only week left for gifts’ shopping as from May 8 only foodstuff sale will be permitted even in hypermarkets.

Sara Hussain, working with Bank Dhofar says that she will have to shop for the next four days to finish shopping for the gifts she has in her list. “Eid comes once a year and gifting is an integral part of Eid. We have compromised on many things keeping in mind the current situation. But gifting is the least obtrusive and safe and most of us want to keep the tradition of Eidia alive.”