Bangladeshi expatriates are happy but also sceptical about the lifting of the travel ban from Oman to back home.
Bangladesh Civil Aviation has lifted the ban on passengers arriving from a list of eight countries, including Oman, with effect from June 4.
Unlike passengers from six other countries, those arriving from Oman and Kuwait must undergo a three-day mandatory institutional quarantine in government-approved hotels at their own cost.
A negative PCR test after three days will release such passengers for 11 days of home quarantine, while an unsatisfactory report will extend their self-paid institutional quarantine to 14 days.
Arrivals from Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark and Greece must undergo 14 days mandatory institutional quarantine.
Following suspension of the travel ban, several airlines announced flight schedules.
US-Bangla announced four weekly flights, and Salam Air five. Salam Air and Air Arabia have also scheduled weekly operations.
According to an employee of Biman, Bangladesh’s national carrier, the airline is “looking into the matter because it is not viable to fly one-way at half capacity to maintain COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Besides, the ban on arrivals from Bangladesh to Oman is still in place”.
Inability to fly full capacity will add to ticket costs, he informed.
“The average cost of Muscat-Dhaka tickets is around RO80. But now some airlines are offering one-way tickets from RO250 to RO35O which is quite expensive for a common Bangladeshi,” he said.
Muscat-based Bangladeshi expatriate Alamgeer was planning a visit home to celebrate Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha with his family, which didn’t materialise due to the ban imposed on May 1 for arrivals from Oman.
He is happy with the possibility of flying home but unsure if he can afford the ticket.
“I need to check the price of the ticket and additional cost of mandatory hotel quarantine. If it’s too expensive, I will hold my travel plan till things go back to normal,” Alamgeer said.
If he decided to go now, he would also have to take into consideration the fact that his return date to Oman is uncertain.
(Text by Syed Fasiuddin)
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