Oman Drops All Remaining Coronavirus Restrictions

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The sultanate of Oman announced on Sunday an end to its mask mandate and remaining coronavirus curbs after over two years of pandemic restrictions.

Due to the country's steady decline in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations, the government said the public no longer needs to adhere to a litany of health precautions, including mask-wearing in public places and avoiding large crowds.

Authorities were careful not to declare the country’s health crisis officially over, still urging citizens to isolate if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 and to take a booster shot if they hadn't already. However, the scrapping of all restrictions brings normalcy back to Oman as the rest of its Gulf Arab neighbors see the virus similarly recede.

The sultanate is logging some 20 virus cases a day, down from over 1,000 a day earlier this year as the highly transmissible omicron variant fueled a winter surge. Oman's inoculation campaign has now overcome initial vaccine skepticism and rapidly accelerated, with 135 doses administered for every 100 people, according to the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford.