| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Mosques and land borders to reopen to workers in Oman as Covid rates drop

Oman announced the reopening of its land borders to workers from the GCC on Wednesday, along with a range of measures easing coronavirus restrictions.

The borders closed on January 19 after a second wave of Covid-19 hit the sultanate.

Those wishing to cross the border will need to present evidence of the necessity for travel from their employers, Oman’s supreme committee for handling the pandemic said.

Mosques have also been allowed to reopen for the five daily prayers, as long as capacity does not exceed 100 worshipers. Mosques will remain closed for Friday prayers.

Oman has registered 219,529 coronavirus cases and 2,370 deaths since the start of the pandemic. After a significant drop in infection rates from September to February, new cases peaked in April at 3,544 in a single day, but have since dropped. On Tuesday the sultanate announced 1,047 new cases.

The government brought in a raft of measures to prevent the spread of the virus over Ramadan and Eid, and some of the changes announced on Wednesday rescinded those strict rules.

Commercial operations, which had been banned between the hours of 8pm and 4am will now be allowed to open, with the proviso that malls, restaurants, shops and cafes stick to a 50 per cent capacity cap.

Wedding halls and exhibitions will also be allowed the reopen at a maximum of 30 per cent capacity, or 300 people.

Beaches, public parks and gyms will open to the public and hotels and clubs will be allowed to open their pools and gyms to guests and members.