General view of old Muscat. Image Credit: REUTERS

Muscat: Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi expatriates in Oman hope that the ban on passengers travelling from their respective countries will be eased soon by the sultanate.

Mohammad Tawhid, a social worker of Bangladesh Community in Oman, feels that the ban will be lifted soon since the neighbouring GCC countries — UAE and Kuwait — have eased the travel ban for those who have been inoculated. “This is an important development that is being watched by millions of expatriates living in the GCC region. We are hopeful that Oman’s Supreme Committee in its next announcement will be touching upon this issue with a solution.”

Jabir PM, a long-time resident in Oman known for his service to Indian community in Oman, said that like all Indians in Oman he too is hopeful that the travel ban will be eased soon. “Since other countries in the region have opened up, we expect that Oman too will soon lift the ban on entry for travellers from India.”

Mohammad Tawhid, however, feels that the mandatory institutional quarantine will stay for some more time in Oman due to the COVID-19 Delta variant. “There may be more categories getting exempt like medical and teaching faculty. But I feel that an exemption for those who have taken two jabs of COVID-19 vaccine is not likely to come in soon.”

Dr Huma Reza, a doctor with a private clinic in the capital, said that she is waiting for normal operation of flights between Oman and Pakistan. “I have to take my 80-year-old mother back to Pakistan and she cannot travel alone. If I have to go with her I have to wait for the ban to be lifted as otherwise I will be stuck indefinitely in Pakistan.”