APN News

  • Sunday, September, 2021| Today's Market | Current Time: 04:28:19
  • The Sultanate of Oman has announced the suspension of commercial flights from 24 different states around the world. The Gulf state has not yet announced when these suspensions will be lifted.

    This latest travel restriction comes as Oman battles to contain its latest wave of COVID-19 infections.

    Luckily, travel to the Sultanate is still possible for many people thanks to the ability to obtain a visa for Oman online. As long as they have not been in any of the high-risk countries within the past 14 days, they will still be able to enter Oman.

    However, the suspended flights may now make organising the trip a little more difficult.

    The ban was announced via Oman’s official Twitter account for matters relating to coronavirus. The tweet stated that the affected flights will be cancelled until further notice as part of anti-COVID measures.

    Which flights have been suspended?

    Passenger services to Oman from a number of different countries have been cancelled indefinitely.

    Flight suspensions from some of these states had already been in effect. The list has now been expanded to 24, including the following:

    • Argentina
    • Bangladesh
    • Brazil
    • Brunei
    • Colombia
    • Ethiopia
    • Ghana
    • Guinea
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Iran
    • Iraq
    • Lebanon
    • Libya
    • Nigeria
    • Pakistan
    • The Philippines
    • Sierra Leone
    • Singapore
    • South Africa
    • Sudan
    • Tanzania
    • Tunisia
    • The United Kingdom

    In addition to the cancelled flights, Oman has rules regarding which travellers can enter.

    In particular, individuals who have spent time in many of the countries on this list within the past 14 days are banned from entering the Sultanate of Oman.

    This includes people who have been in India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh up to 14 days before the trip. There is currently no exemption for vaccinated travellers, as happened with the Seychelles.

    Other rules for travelling to Oman

    Aside from entry bans and flight suspensions, Oman has a number of other COVID-19 regulations in effect.

    Adults (aged 16 and older) travelling to the Sultanate have to test negative shortly before the trip and bring the test result as proof.

    Only PCR tests are accepted. The result must be in either Arabic or English.

    Passengers heading for Oman must also register their details in an online form before travelling. During this process, they will have to pay a fee for another test, which must be taken on arrival.

    It is also necessary to book a hotel in advance, have travel insurance with at least one month’s coverage for potential COVID-related expenses, and download both the Tarassud+ and Hmushrif apps.

    It is also worth noting that Oman is no longer issuing visas on arrival. Exactly when this service will resume is currently unknown. However, visas can still be obtained by applying online.

    The COVID situation in Oman

    Although the numbers of new cases per day in Oman have been falling since the start of July 2021, the nation is still in its 4th wave of COVID-19.

    The death rate due to coronavirus is still relatively high. Meanwhile, the number of known active cases continues to be higher than in previous waves.

    With around 1,000 new cases recorded per day, Omani authorities have acted to help the country recover and bring figures down. This is why travel restrictions continue to be in place and more flights have been suspended.

    Meanwhile, the country’s vaccination programme is gathering speed. Around 25% of the Omani population have received at least one dose. While Oman is still far behind some countries, it is vaccinating more and more people, which could prove invaluable in the fight against coronavirus.

    Is there a way to visit Oman from India now that flights are suspended?

    It is true that the temporarily cancelled flights and entry restrictions make travelling to Oman difficult at the moment.

    However, all is not lost for citizens and residents of India and the other countries on Oman’s no-fly list.

    Although there are currently no direct flights and travellers are not permitted to enter within 14 days of having been in India, travel agents in Oman have started offering special packages.

    These include flights to the Maldives, a 15-day stay in a hotel there, and a PCR test before travelling onwards to Oman.

    These packages are designed to allow passengers from places like India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan to be able to navigate the travel restrictions safely and arrive in Oman after a relaxing stay in an idyllic location.

    As the situation in India continues to improve, travel is once again opening up. Domestic passenger traffic has seen growth through June and we are likely to see the same with international travel.

    Many countries are already removing India from their “high-risk” lists. It is expected that Oman will follow suit in the near future and that a stop in the Maldives will not be necessary to fly to the Gulf state.