Is it only expats who bring infection?
This refers to your article titled ‘Desperate wait for expats seeking resumption of flights’ (Muscat Daily, page 3, Apr 26).
Due to the spike in COVID-19 cases the Supreme Committee in Oman considered it advisable to restrict entry from certain countries into Oman except for Omani nationals who are then quarantined in their homes with a bracelet (tracking device). People from those countries are barred from entering.
This has caused a lot of grief and problems both for expatriates working in Oman and Omani companies or individuals who are employers of these expatriates, holding a valid residence permit.
Where the need to prevent the rise in infections cannot be denied, however logically speaking there is no guarantee that returning Omanis will not bring the infection into the country, especially as they are not under close monitoring regarding whom they meet; their movement is monitored only through the bracelet.
It is felt that allowing expatriates with resident permits from these restricted countries will ease the situation for both the workers and employers and will control the spread of infection subject to the following procedures being implemented:
The expatriate will have to have a PCR test at his/her point of origin in less than 72 hours.
The expatriate on arrival in Oman will have to have another PCR test done in Oman.
The expatriate will be quarantined in a hotel for ten days.
PCR test to be taken after the quarantine. Only when all the three tests are ‘negative’ the expatriate be allowed into the country.
All above expenses to be borne by the expatriate or employer.
Since expatriate will be under 60 years old he will have to be vaccinated and will have to pay for the vaccine at a subsidised rate.