The regulations imposed by Royal Oman Police (“ROP”) strictly prohibits wearing a mask when driving. However, due to the current COVID-19 situation, ROP have lifted the ban temporarily as the government calls for citizens and residents to adhere healthy habits i.e. the vigilant washing of hands and the covering of faces while sneezing or coughing.
Formerly, the punishment for wearing a mask in such circumstances was a fine up to OMR 50 (fifty Omani Rial). The purpose of the ban was to easily identify drivers while on the road, which is obviously hindered by masks.
Due to these exceptional circumstances, the Ministry of Transport has also issued a decision to stop the operation of all public transportation vehicles including “Buses, Ferries, Taxis (microbus)” from Thursday 19th March until further notice.
In spite of that, this decision excluded the salon taxis where the drivers are allowed to continue service provided that they shall comply with the health guidelines issued by Ministry of Health (“ MoH ”) and shall adhere to a maximum number of passengers which is 4 passengers including the driver. Such decisions will help to keep space between the passengers and to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Authored by Associate Noor Ambusaidi