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British envoy hopeful of resolving travel impasse

20 Mar 2021

With Oman’s Supreme Committee imposing a ban on direct flights from the United Kingdom (UK) in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases, H E Hamish Cowell, British Ambassador to Oman, said his embassy is closely working with Omani authorities to reopen travel routes between both the countries. 

On Tuesday, the Supreme Committee said it would impose a ban on direct flights from March 19 until further notice and suspend the entry of non-citizens who had travelled to the UK in the previous two weeks. 

In a statement issued on Thursday, H E Cowell said, “I know that many of you here in Oman are following closely the recent COVID-19 related restrictions on travel to and from the UK. I hope that those who joined our online Consular Q&A on Tuesday on this subject found it useful. These are difficult times and such restrictions are the last thing that any of us want to see. I know that many British and Omani nationals will have been affected in some way by these announcements. 

“Given the exceptionally close links between our two countries, we have worked hard over the last year to keep travel options available, even when the airport here was closed. While that has changed this week, I want to assure you that we are working intensively with the Omani authorities to reopen travel routes as soon as the situation allows.” 

Last week, the UK added Oman to the travel ban Red List, a part of travel regulations aimed at stopping COVID-19 variants from entering the country. Oman, along with Ethiopia, Somalia and Qatar, was added to the list. The ban came into effect at 4am on Friday, March 19. 

A statement from Oman’s Cultural Attache in London, said, “Dear students, we regret to inform you that from March 19, 4am, Oman will be on the red list for travellers to and from the UK. We urge everyone who booked to travel to the sultanate during the spring break to rearrange their travel plans.” 


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