Oman implements social distancing

Business Wednesday 25/March/2020 18:16 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman implements social distancing

Muscat: Authorities in Oman have asked locals and expats to maintain social distancing whenever they need to go outside, although they are required to keep this to a minimum, as well as at home.

With Oman having reported 99 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has also said that shops that do not enforce social distancing will face legal action.

“Please let one person from the family go to the supermarket, while taking care to leave the children at home,” said a ministry official. “Let this one person go and buy everything that is needed, but he must remember to keep distance from others, use hand sanitiser, maintain a safe distance from the cashier, and not frequently touch surfaces that come into contact with others. This person is advised not to take his parents, as they might be elderly, or take other members of his family and friends, so that chances of infection are lowered.

“Some commercial centres and stores are not adhering to the precautionary measures that have been issued in coordination with the Ministry of Health, with regard to organising shopping for consumers, to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19),” added an MOCI statement. “Accordingly, the ministry will take legal measures against centres and stores that do not adhere to the measures.”

Measures that need to be implemented by shops including organising entry of customers in groups, instead of all at once, leaving a two-metre physical distance between one consumer and the other near the check-out area, and sterilising shopping carts and surfaces, as well as providing consumers with sterilisers. It is recommended to avoid shopping in family-sized groups and during peak periods, which is usually between 7pm and 10pm, and to shop online.

Regarding practicing social distancing at home, Oman’s Government Communications Centre (GCC) published a list of guidelines that needed to be followed.

“Social distancing is a sort of behavioural change by adopting some actions that reduce communication and contact with others during this exceptional period, such as keeping a two-metre distance from others, not receiving visitors, not attending events, and staying at home unless absolutely necessary,” said the centre