In a bid to contain the coronavirus and its dangerous new strain, the General Administration of Civil Aviation in Kuwait has announced that it will restrict the number of passengers arriving at Kuwait International Airport. Between January 24 and February 6, only 1,000 travellers will be allowed to enter the country per day.
The country's national carrier Kuwait Airways confirmed the news on its Twitter page on January 22, stating: "Kuwait Airways would like to point out that under the authority of the General Administration of Civil Aviation it has been decided to reduce the number of passengers on flights to Kuwait from January 24 to February 6. Domestic workers and transit passengers are excluded from this decision. Thank you for your co-operation."
A statement to the same effect was also issued by Abdullah Al-Rajhi, director of the Air Transport Department at the General Administration of Civil Aviation, to Al Anba, an Arabic-language daily newspaper in Kuwait earlier this week.
The report goes on to state that the two-week window will also give authorities time to complete and fortify the airport's in-house laboratories and their equipment, which can then conduct the requisite health checks on all arriving passengers.
As mentioned by the Kuwait Airways tweet, Al-Rajhi confirmed that domestic workers and those transiting through Kuwait will not be included in the 1,000-a-day figure. Also excluded from the rule are shipping companies, and freight and cargo flights, so this rule will not impact the continued availability of good and services.
As for passengers with pre-booked tickets, Al-Rajhi said authorities are working with various local and international airlines to schedule (or rather, reschedule) flights so as to be able to abide by the new, temporary rule in a way that "preserves the rights of all passengers". One such way is to reduce the operating capacity per flight to 35 passengers.
A spokesperson from Etihad told The National: "Following updated regulations from Kuwaiti authorities, a further limit on the number of passengers from each flight allowed to disembark at Kuwait International Airport has been applied. As a result, Etihad Airways is temporarily restricting the number of passengers carried between Abu Dhabi and Kuwait until February 6.
"Travellers returning to Kuwait are encouraged to contact Etihad Airways to ensure their travel plans are not disrupted. We will work closely with impacted guests and travel agents to notify them of the changes to their itineraries and reaccommodate them on alternative flights. Etihad continues to adhere to the guidelines set by the relevant authorities in the UAE and Kuwait."