With the National Day holidays starting from Wednesday, parents and children are calling for the reopening of public parks. These were ordered shut in March as part of the precautionary measures announced by the Supreme Committee tasked with dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the closure of parks, and malls being out of bounds for children, parents say their children need some outdoor or social activity to engage in.
“I think the wait has been too long. My children have been complaining of having no where to go. They can’t go to malls or parks or even beaches. Since most of the other places are reopened now, it should be safe to reopen parks because there is enough space to maintain social distancing,” said Sulaiman Mohammed, a father of four children.
The call to reopen parks is not only for children but adults too, who say they need a place to relax away from home because it is risky to travel amidst COVID-19.
“It is not always easy for both adults and children to stay indoors for long, especially those who live in flats. My children have been asking me to take them to a park because they are tired of being indoors. I feel sorry for them but I hope this will end soon,” said Shamsa Abdullah, a mother of three children, living in a two-bedroom apartment in Amerat.
According to some, many parks in Oman are big enough and chances of COVID-19 infections among visitors is low.
“There was no need to close them. I feel parks are safer than the malls because they are in the open,” said Khalfan al Obaidani, a parent of five from Seeb.
The Ministry of Health has advised both citizens and residents to refrain from visiting beaches or parks.