Families with children under 16 years can request exemption from institutional quarantine which is subject to approval from authorities, according to an official source at the Ministry of Social Development’s Relief and Shelter Sector.
Hamoud bin Mohammed al Mundhiri, spokesman of the Relief and Shelter Sector, informed Muscat Daily that families may be exempted from institutional isolation if their children have no one, like grandparents, to take care of them. “It depends on the situation of the family.”
Reiterating that mandatory institutional quarantine came into effect on February 15, Mundhiri said, “Passengers arriving in the country can stay in any hotel from the list prepared by the competent authorities for mandatory institutional at their own expense.”
On Monday, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that diplomats, children under 16 and adults aged 60 and older are exempted from the requirement of presenting pre-confirmed hotel reservations for mandatory institutional quarantine in Oman upon arrival in the sultanate.
The announcement left many families travelling with children to Oman in distress and evoked reaction from social media users.
Seeking clarity, twitterati Mohammed Faiyz asked, “Does this mean families with kids are exempted from institutional quarantine?” Another Twitter user Joe Morass queried, “Where will children live (when their parents are in institutional quarantine)?”
Following a flurry of social media activity, the Relief and Shelter Sector clarified that children under 16 are exempted from institutional quarantine if conditions are met. “Overall, families are not exempted. But there is a team at the airport to assess families’ situations,” Mundhiri said.