Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 May 2020

Oman introduces penalties for coronavirus lockdown violations

Coronavirus committee warns arrests and fines will be given in case of non compliance

Mina Sultan Qaboos in downtown Muscat, the capital of Oman. Silvia Razgova / The National
Mina Sultan Qaboos in downtown Muscat, the capital of Oman. Silvia Razgova / The National

Oman on Thursday announced new coronavirus-related fines aimed at curbing the spread of the disease.

A fine of 20 Omani rials will be imposed on anyone caught not wearing a face mask in public, including in commercial centres, the Supreme Committee on Covid-19 said in a statement.

Those participating in social gatherings such as weddings, places of worship and holidays will be fined 100 Omani rials while the failure to observe self-isolation measures will generate a 200-Omani rial penalty, the committee said.

Non compliance with regards to the closure of shops that have been ordered to shut down will result in a fine of 3000 Omani riyals.

In addition, failure to conduct a coronavirus test when asked to will result in a fine of 200 Omani riyals and a fine of 300 Omani rials will be levied against anyone caught not wearing a tracking bracelet if they have been requested to do so.

The funds collected will be given to the ministry of health to support its efforts in combating coronavirus, the committee added.

It warned that violators risk arrest and said fines will be doubled for repeat offences.

The government also announced a royal decree to pardon 797 prisoners on Wednesday in line with the Eid Al Fitr holidays.

Out of the pardoned prisoners 301 were foreign nationals.

The sultanate has recorded 6,370 cases and 30 deaths from Covid-19 since the outbreak began earlier this year.

Since the beginning of Ramadan, the country has eased some public restrictions.

Authorities allowed non-essential businesses such as electronics stores and repair shops for cars and fishing boats to reopen, but saw a subsequent spike in cases.

Earlier this week the government announced a ban on all gatherings and activities during Eid Al Fitr holidays.

This includes livestock auctions and group prayers.

Oman's Minister of Transport and member of the committee, Ahmed Al Futaisi said there has been some delays in allowing commercial activities to resume due to fears of an increase in infected cases.

"The Supreme Committee's decision to resume certain commercial activities is on the condition that the set regulations are adhered to or these institutions may face suspension and fines," Mr Al Futaisi said.

Updated: May 21, 2020 04:57 PM

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