The Sultanate of Oman has announced that fully vaccinated travellers from all countries will be admitted again as of 1 September 2021. Besides the corona measures, UK and EU travellers also have to take into account other conditions for entering the country, such as having a valid Oman visa.
Coronavirus infection rate in Oman lower than ever
The announcement by the Omani government does not come as a complete surprise. The country seems to have the coronavirus under control. The number of new infections and deaths in the country is at an all-time low. As of 30 August, Oman was reporting an average of 107 new cases of Covid-19 and 7 deaths per day, a sharp drop from June and July when the country was experiencing hundreds of new infections per day. As a result, Oman has already implemented many relaxations in its domestic coronavirus measures. The government recently lifted the nationwide curfew, and it is also looking into allowing large gatherings such as Friday prayers to take place again.
With the announcement of the reopening of the borders, months of uncertainty finally seem to have come to an end. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, Oman has closed and reopened its borders several times. This last happened in April 2021 during Ramadan.
Entry requirements for travel to Oman
After all that hard work, Oman obviously wants to keep the coronavirus infection rate as low as possible. Although travel to Oman will again be possible, there are a number of measures to take into account when entering the country.
The main requirement for travellers to enter Oman from 1 September is to have a vaccination certificate with a QR code that proves that the traveller has been fully vaccinated. This vaccination certificate must be uploaded into the Oman Tarassud+ app before departure. The second vaccine must be administered at least 14 days before departure. Travellers must have been vaccinated with a vaccine approved in Oman. Currently, these are AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sputnik V and Sinovac, although the list may be extended in the future.
People travelling to Oman on a long international flight (minimum 8 hours) who have a negative PCR test before departure (within 96 hours) will not have to undergo quarantine. Travellers on shorter flights (i.e. less than 8 hours) must be able to present a negative test result that is not more than 72 hours old. Travellers who cannot provide a PCR test result must have a test taken upon arrival at their own expense. They will then receive an electronic wristband until the test result has been received. If the result is positive, the traveller must spend 10 days in quarantine. Travellers aged 18 and under who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical condition are not required to have a vaccination certificate or PCR test result.
Land borders with the United Arab Emirates also open
The Omani government has also announced that they will reopen the land borders with the United Arab Emirates. Land travellers must also be fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test result. Because of the shared land borders, the Emirates and Oman are very important to each other in terms of tourism. Oman, in particular, hopes that its own tourism sector will pick up as a result of this decision.
Unfortunately, there is a potential problem. As mentioned before, Oman only accepts fully vaccinated travellers who have been vaccinated with a vaccine accepted in Oman. However, in the Emirates they mainly use the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, which is currently not on the list of vaccines accepted in Oman.
Oman visa mandatory
Although Oman welcomes all travellers again, it remains mandatory to apply for a visa for persons from countries that do not qualify for visa-free travel. This also applies to the UK and the EU. An Oman visa can be applied for online via the digital application form, and costs £84.95 per person. However, a number of conditions apply. The online visa Oman is only suitable for tourist travel. The passport used to apply for it must be valid for at least 6 months and may not contain any Israeli stamps. A hotel and return ticket or ticket proving that you are leaving Oman must be booked prior to arrival.