Oman to lift internal travel restrictions, reduce curfew

Oman to lift internal travel restrictions, reduce curfew
DUBAI (Reuters) – Oman will on Saturday lift a domestic ban on travel between provinces, imposed on July 25 to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, the state news agency ONA said on Wednesday.

From Saturday it will also reduce its curfew for a week to between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. (1700-0100 GMT), instead of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. (1500 to 0200 GMT). A full lockdown of the Dhofar province in the south will be maintained until further notice.

Oman, a country of 4.7 million people, has recorded almost 80,000 coronavirus infections and 421 deaths.

It introduced lockdowns in March in some regions such as Muscat, Dhofar, Duqm and some tourist towns. Since April, it has gradually allowed commercial centres to reopen and lifted some lockdowns.

But it tightened measures for the long Eid holiday after infection numbers rose through June.

In the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Oman and five other Gulf Arab states, the biggest nation Saudi Arabia has the highest number of confirmed infections. Together the group has recorded more than 647,000 cases and almost 4,600 deaths.

Writing by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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