Kuwait ends quarantine for incoming vaccinated travellers

Gulf state eases some restrictions, allowing cafes and restaurants to reopen from Saturday

epa09188171 A health worker prepares a shot of COVID-19 vaccine to a woman at field vaccination center in Kuwait City, Kuwait, 09 May 2021. Kuwait Ministry of Health launched on 09 May the second phase of COVID-19 vaccine field units, as it includes providing vaccines to workers in commercial centers in the country.  EPA/NOUFAL IBRAHIM
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Travellers to Kuwait who are immunised against Covid-19 or have recovered from the disease within the past three months need no longer quarantine upon arrival, the Kuwait Cabinet said.

Passengers flying into the country must provide evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their arrival date, said the statement, which was carried by the state news agency on Tuesday.

The measure will come into effect on Saturday.

Direct commercial flights for India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are restricted to departures only. Cargo flights will continue until further notice.

Last week, the government said it would put direct commercial flights from Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on hold.

Travellers who have lived in or transited through any of those four countries must spend a minimum of 14 days elsewhere before being allowed to enter Kuwait.

An exemption was offered for citizens wishing to travel who have not been vaccinated. Those who cannot have the vaccine for health reasons will be allowed to travel, but must obtain the health ministry’s consent to do so.

Unvaccinated pregnant women with valid certificates are included in the exemption.

This month, the government said a travel bar, also effective as of this Saturday, would be imposed on citizens and their domestic helpers who have not taken a Covid-19 vaccine.

Restaurants and cafes across Kuwait will be allowed to admit customers from Sunday.

Hospitality venues that do not comply with Covid-19 rules will be closed.

The easing of restrictions comes at time when the country's health crisis has stabilised, Health Minister Basel Al Sabah said this week.

On Tuesday, Kuwait reported 1,084 new Covid-19 cases, five deaths and 1,100 recoveries.

Total case numbers are now 293,574, including 1,701 deaths.