Seeking entry to Oman through fake COVID-19 tests or by forging vaccination certificates may become a thing of the past as it is going to get a lot more difficult with the government introducing provisions such as a QR code to verify a certificate.
Starting from September 1, travellers coming to Oman need to carry a vaccination certificate containing a QR code stating that they have received two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccination.
According to the decision issued by the Supreme Committee for COVID-19, passengers travelling with negative COVID-19 certificates should also have QR codes.
“QR code helps to verify the certificates and help in detecting forgery,” said Dr Saif bin Salim al Abri, director general of disease surveillance and control at Ministry of Health.
“Many countries have adopted QR code system and the World Tourism Organization has introduced a link for countries to check the tests and certificates verified through the QR. In the past, many countries detected forgery in the test and certificates,” Dr Abri said.
However, experts feel it may not be 100 per cent secure.
“Unless there is a system or platform that can validate not just national vaccine reports or certificates but an international one as well, I doubt it would be 100 per cent safe to confirm if it is authentic, because creating a fake QR code is not difficult, and the need to have government’s support for validating information presented by a traveller is paramount for it to succeed,” said Tariq al Barwani, an IT expert in Oman.
“This would require every government around the world to work with each other to facilitate and provide some kind of central system that stores all these data for validation.
“Unless this information can be validated through a central system that stores all the countries’ vaccination reports together, it is not 100 per cent safe,” he added.
On how QR code works, Barwani said, “Every traveller’s vaccine certificate will contain a QR code which would identify whether they have been vaccinated or not. The QR code will contain information (but not limited to) items such as name, age, ID number, photo, dosage number, nationality, dates, etc that identifies the person in question.”
From September 1, two doses of vaccine will be prerequisite to enter Oman.
Airport entries only for vaccinated people: OA
Oman Airports (OA) on Monday said that the entry to all airports in the sultanate will be restricted to only vaccinated people starting from September 1.
This is part of the decision of the Supreme Committee to impose mandatory vaccination for both citizens and residents to enter public places including government institutions, shopping malls, and restaurants.
‘We would like to inform that the access to Omani airports will be restricted only to the vaccinated people. This decision shall be effective from Wednesday, September 1, 2021, and will include all Oman airport users and strategic stakeholders,’ Oman Airports said in a statement.
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