Muscat: Oman’s latest movement ban to stop the spread of COVID-19 took effect on Sunday, June 20, causing shops to close their shutters and people to vacate the streets by 8 pm.
The ban, which lasts every night until 4 am the next morning, has resulted in some businesses getting creative to ensure they stay open to customers for as long as they can.
“We have decided to stay open from 4 am onwards,” said the owner of a supermarket in Muscat. “We do this so that customers can come in as early as they wish to, and do not miss out on shopping. A lot of people are early risers who go for their morning walks soon after we open, so it is convenient for them to pick up their groceries on the way back.”
A leading supermarket chain in Oman will stay open from 8 am to 7 pm until the lockdown ends, so that it can stay open to customers for longer.
“We were hopeful of more business coming in when the government decided to reopen many activities, but it is understandable that a lot of operations have been required to close once again because of the rising case numbers and deaths,” said the manager of a restaurant in Muscat.
“It is unfortunate that we will now have to curtail operations again.”
Shopkeepers and restaurateurs in Oman have asked people to contribute towards reducing the spread of the pandemic by following the required precautions and taking the vaccine the moment they are eligible.
“The pandemic has been hard on many of us,” said another shopkeeper. “The economic impact means many of my fellow business owners have been forced to close their shutters permanently. We hope the situation reverts itself soon, so that we can once again become successful.”