Oman is officially reopening borders for tourism on December 10, 2020 allowing travelers from 103 countries to enter without a visa for a period of 10 days.
Countries now permitted to visit for tourism include Canada, the USA, the UK, most of the EU and many more (full list below)
After being closed for almost the entire year Oman starting slowly reopening on October 1, 2020, but the initial border relaxations were only for Omani citizens and residents looking to return home.
Now with the announcement made by the Royal Oman Police, the nation will start accepting general tourists to visit, starting in December. However, a trip to Oman will look a little different from normal, as they have a few exceptions and requirements for all inbound visitors.
دعما للحركة السياحية وتسهيلا للسائحين الراغبين في زيارة السلطنة تعلن شرطة عمان السلطانية عن إعفاء رعايا مائة وثلاث دول من تأشيرات الدخول إلى السلطنة لمدة عشرة أيام وذلك وفق الضوابط والشروط المحددة ومنها وجود حجز فندقي مسبق ومؤكد وتأمينا صحيا وتذكرة سفرللعودة.#شرطة_عمان_السلطانية— شرطة عُمان السلطانية (@RoyalOmanPolice) December 9, 2020
Translation: “In support of the tourist movement and to facilitate the tourists wishing to visit the Sultanate, the Royal Oman Police announces that the nationals of one hundred and three countries will be exempted from entry visas to the Sultanate for a period of ten days, according to the specified controls and conditions, including the presence of a prior and confirmed hotel reservation, health insurance, and a return ticket.”
10-Day Stay Maximum
For this staged approach to reopening for tourism, Oman will only be allowing travelers to come in for a period of 10-days without a visa but gives extra freedom to those who only wish to stay for 7 days.
The entry rules and testing/quarantine requirements for those staying only 7 days and those who wish to stay the full 10 days are completely different, and most tourists will opt for 7 days, which will explain why below.
PCR Testing Required
All passengers must take a PCR test upon arrival at the Muscat International Airport
The cost of the test is 25 Omani Rials (around $65 USD) which can be paid through the Tarassud+ App before arrival in Oman. A QR code will be generated that can be shown at the screening point to expedite the test upon arrival.
All passengers must self-isolate at their hotel while they await test results, which usually takes around 12-24 hours.
Passengers under 15 are not obligated to take the PCR test.
7 Day Stay: After a negative result from the airport PCR test is received, the traveler can end self-isolation and enjoy their trip.
10-Day Stay: For those who want to stay 10 days instead of 7, there are many more restrictions and rules. After a negative result from the airport PCR test is received, the traveler must stay in self-isolation for 7 full days, regardless of results. A tracking bracelet at the cost of 6 Omani Rials ($16 USD) must also be worn the entire time. A 2nd PCR test will be taken on the 7th day, of which a negative result will remove the bracelet and the self-isolation, giving the traveler 2-3 days to enjoy their trip before leaving on the 10th day.
Jan 2021 Update: New reports are coming out that the 7-day quarantine will apply to ALL visitors, regardless if it’s a 7 day or 10 day stay. However, more conflicting reports have also been released saying there are exceptions for guided tours, etc.
Travel Health Insurance
The government of Oman has said all tourists must have a travel health insurance policy that covers covid, and is valid for a period of 1 month, even if their trip is only 7-10 days. Their reasoning is because if a tourist was to fall ill on the 9th or 10th day of their trip, and require hospitalization for Covid-19 lasting at least 14 days beyond that, they would be covered.
Proof of Onward Travel
All tourists must have either a confirmed roundtrip ticket, or proof of onward travel, in order to enter Oman.
Hotel or Accommodation Booking
During this reopening stage, all tourists must show a confirmed hotel, rental agreement, tour or similar ‘proof of tourism’ booking in order to qualify for the 10-day visa-free entry.
Contact Tracing App
All passengers must download the Tarassud+ contact tracing app. Those who wish to stay over 7 days must also download a second app called HMushrif.
Countries that can visit Oman for tourism
Here is a list of 100+ countries that can now enter Oman for up to 10 days visa-free:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Africa
- South Korea
What’s Open in Oman?
Most restaurants and hotels are reopening in Oman to accommodate incoming tourists.
The Royal Court Affairs announced on December 12 that many tourist attractions will reopen effective immediately with enhance protocols. “the Royal Court Affairs is pleased to announce the reopening of its sites to visitors, namely: the Muscat Gate Museum, Al-Mansour Castle in the Wilayat of Rustaq, Hisn A’Shumookh Library and the entertainment centre in the Wilayat of Manah.”
Currently, there are no curfews and inter-regional travel is permitted.
Wearing a mask in all public indoor and outdoor spaces is mandatory.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories