Highlights from the Supreme Committee Meeting Today
Merge 104.8 | 26 August 2021
The Supreme Committee held a press conference today to discuss the latest COVID-19 developments in the country. Here’s what you need to know:
On the country’s current COVID-19 situation
- Oman recorded 101 new Coronavirus cases and 2 COVID-related deaths in a 24-hour period.
- Recovery rate increased to 96.5%.
Regarding Coronavirus vaccinations
- There are eight COVID-19 vaccines approved in the Sultanate, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Johnson, Moderna, Covishield, Sinovac, and Sinopharm. Those that are being administered in Oman currently are Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and AstraZeneca-Covishield.
- No booster shots will be provided for now, as some countries have still not vaccinated their populations.
- Every Omani citizen is expected to receive the second dose by mid-September.
- Johnson & Johnson’s single dose vaccine is approved in Oman, and those who received it abroad will not be required to get a second dose.
- The Minister of Health said that there has been a delay in vaccinating expats, adding that the Ministry of Health is working to speed up their vaccinations.
- The Sultanate does not take responsibility for citizens or residents who took one dose of a vaccine that is not registered in Oman, and it will not attempt to provide them with vaccines that are not available in the country. Individuals will be responsible to secure their second dose.
Visa and expat-related issues
- Having at least one dose of an Omani-approved COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for the renewal of residency visa of expatriates.
- All visas issued at the start of 2021 will be extended until the end of the year, and there will be no fees for the extension. For those who are outside the Sultanate, they will find that their visas have been extended if they enter the ROP website.
- Expatriates with valid residencies who are outside the Sultanate for more than 6 months, will be dealt with at the request of their sponsors.
- All types of visas will start being issued from September 1, but those entering the Sultanate will be required to be fully vaccinated and to follow other COVID-related procedures set by the Civil Aviation Authority.
- Oman will open land borders from September 1st. COVID-19 restrictions must be followed, which include conducting a PCR test before arrival.
- Oman reserves the right to ask for COVID-19 tests on arrival into the Sultanate, as there have been cases of tests carried out globally that turned out to be fake.
- Oman is in talks with members of the GCC, to study ways in which the PCR test can be waived for travel between the GCC countries, for those who have been fully vaccinated.
- All Omani citizens will be allowed to return to the country, even those who are unvaccinated. They will still however, have to follow Coronavirus-related restrictions upon entry.
On return to schools and work
- Government sector will be required to attend work at full capacity, starting from September 1st.
- Vaccination will be a condition for return to offices, and a Ministry of Health official said that there will be a mechanism put in place to deal with employees who were unable to obtain vaccinations before September 1st.
- The Ministry of Education gave schools the authority to find alternatives for students to continue their education in the weeks that they are home.
- School attendance will be a mix of both blended and in-class for the upcoming academic year, with the necessity of adhering to COVID-related restrictions.