Oman lifts internal travel restriction before tropical storm


Oman will lift a two-week domestic ban on travel between provinces a day earlier than planned on Friday, before the expected arrival of a large tropical storm, state news agency ONA said.

The ban on travel between governorates was imposed by the Gulf state on July 25 to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

It will be lifted at 2 p.m. (1000 GMT) on Friday, instead of on Saturday as had been planned, as it is expected to be hit by the storm in the Arabian Sea.

A full lockdown of the Dhofar province in the south will be maintained until further notice.

A previously announced plan to reduce on Saturday its curfew for a week to between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. , instead of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. still holds.

Oman, a country of 4.7 million people, has recorded more than 80,700 coronavirus infections and 492 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.

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