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Oman beefs up coronavirus regulations, continues land border closure

Oman’s land border will remain closed until further notice to curb the spread of coronavirus, daily Times of Oman reported.

Citizens wishing to return home should do so before 10 a.m. on Feb. 21, 2021 as “no individuals will be allowed to enter the Sultanate till the closure of land borders is lifted,” the report added.

The closure initially went into effect on Jan. 18 following Oman’s detection of its first case of the variant of the virus that emerged in Britain, on a resident who arrived from the UK.

The closure was set to last one week, but the authorities had warned of possible extensions.

Everyone who enters Oman, through land, sea or air, must undergo institutionalized isolation at their own expense, as authorities have caught individuals breaching home quarantine.

Earlier in February, Oman reported that people have been avoiding self-quarantining by getting elderly members of their families to wear their tracking bracelets.

“We have received messages of some people taking off their tracking bracelet after arriving at the country’s border crossings, and putting them on elderly people who do not usually leave the home,” the report quoted the Minister of Health Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Saidi.

The Sultanate will also close all beaches, parks and leisure spaces starting today for two weeks.

From Friday, the maximum number of visitors in government departments, private establishments and commercial areas such as markets and restaurants will also be reduced to 50 percent of capacity. The new regulation will remain in place until further notice.

As of Wednesday, Oman has confirmed 136,377 coronavirus cases, 128,255 recovered patients and 1,537 deaths.

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