With the coronavirus outbreak affecting global migration overseas, every country is taking precautions to safeguard its population. Working in this direction, Oman has suspended all tourist visas for a month. This preventive measure against the coronavirus will start from March 15, 2020.
This significant decision was taken after a special committee’s meeting was convened. The committee was set up to tackle the outbreak of COVID-19. It discussed various aspects of dealing with controlling the pandemic and took decisions to:
- Stop issuing tourist visas for all countries
- Suspend all kinds of sports activities
- Stop all non-class student activities. Necessary further procedures may be implemented later as required upon the update of the pandemic data
- Stop the entry of cruise liners to ports of the Sultanate
- Limit court session attendance. The parties concerned only will be allowed to be present
- Ban serving shisha at licensed outlets like lounges, coffee shops, and restaurants
The committee also recommended people not to travel abroad in non-essential cases. The implementation of preventive measures at places of worship was also taken up for decision. Such measures will also be extended to cinema halls and family gatherings.
On March 14, 2020, the Sultanate also announced the suspension of studies at all educational institutions for a month. The drastic measures are expected to work effectively in tackling the global pandemic.
Omani officials have stated that people who are currently in the country could still extend their visas. Only the approved visas of those yet to enter Oman will not be allowed from March 15, 2020.
A grace period of 30 days is allowed for UAE residents after a visa has expired. The grace period was offered by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). In this grace period, no fines will be imposed.
Tourists will get a grace period of 9 days after which a fine of Dh360 and further penalties of Dh100 will be imposed. These are applicable for the 30-day tourist visas upon their expiry.
Compared to visa renewal fees at a GDRFA office, the renewal costs are cheaper at the border. At the GDRFA, the visa renewal fee is Dh750.
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