Kuwait travel guide: everything you need to know as the country extends travel restrictions

Travellers from 15 countries must provide PCR test results before arriving in Kuwait

View of Kuwait Towers with Kuwait City in the background at sunset.
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Kuwait has extended travel restrictions in place across the country that prohibit non-citizens from flying into Kuwait International Airport.

The country's Civil Aviation Authority has banned non-Kuwaiti citizens from flying to Kuwait until further notice.

The decision was based on the instruction of health authorities and part of coronavirus restriction measures, the authority said on Twitter.

Kuwait Airport had been set to reopen to more travellers on February 21, when travel restrictions were due to ease.

Commercial passenger flights were gearing up to once again be allowed to accept non-Kuwaiti citizens.

Airlines had been advised they would have to bear the cost of Covid-19 testing for passengers, according to a circular from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Travel to Kuwait has been restricted since February 7 when authorities closed borders to all travellers except Kuwaiti nationals and their first-degree relatives, domestic workers and medical professionals.

With the country extending restrictions and changing quarantine rules, here’s a guide to what you need to know if you’re planning to fly to Kuwait.

Who can fly to Kuwait?

EJ56X4 Jazeera Airways airplane boarding at the Kuwait International Airport

Tourists and non-Kuwaiti citizens cannot fly to Kuwait.

Until further notice, only Kuwaiti citizens, their first-degree relatives, domestic workers, diplomats and medical professionals can fly to the country.

Who cannot fly to Kuwait?

Non-citizens including those with valid residency permits and GCC citizens will need to wait to travel to Kuwait.

When restrictions ease, travellers who have been in or transited through any country on the restricted list cannot enter Kuwait unless they spend 14 days in a non-restricted destination. This does not apply to Kuwaiti citizens..

List of restricted countries

  • Afghanistan
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Bangladesh
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • France
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Kosovo
  • Lebanon
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Nepal
  • North Macedonia
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • Serbia
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Syria
  • United Kingdom
  • Yemen

Kuwait remains closed to tourists. No visitors have been permitted to travel to the country since March 2020 and visa on arrival facilities are suspended.

What do I need to do before I fly to Kuwait?

Anyone planning to fly to Kuwait must have a negative PCR test. The PCR test must be conducted no more than 72 hours before acceptance on any flight to Kuwait and the result should be in English.

Visitors from 15 countries must submit their PCR test result before arriving in the country. This can be done via Kuwait's Medical Utility Network Accreditor system. The rule applies immediately to visitors from India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Travellers from the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, France, the UK and the US must follow these new rules from Thursday, March 25.

Passengers must also download the Shlonik contact tracing app and the Kuwait Mosafer app before travelling to Kuwait. Negative PCR certificates need to be scanned on the Kuwait Mosafer app.

When checking in for any flight to Kuwait, travellers will have to pay 60 Kuwaiti dinars (Dh729) for two subsequent PCR tests, as requested by Kuwaiti authorities.

What rules are in place at the airport?

Passengers arriving in Kuwait will be required to go through thermal screening and then undergo the first of their two prepaid Covid-19 PCR tests.

Kuwait Airli`nes has also reminded travellers of mandatory rules in place at the airport including compulsory face masks, social distancing and hand sanitising every 30 minutes.

Which airlines are flying to Kuwait?

Etihad continues to fly to Kuwait and will accept non-Kuwaiti citizens on flights as restrictions ease. Courtesy Etihad

Commercial flights to and from Kuwait are operating at a reduced capacity of 35 passengers per flight. Several airlines continue to fly to and from the country including Kuwait Airlines, Emirates, Flydubai, Etihad and Jazeera Airways.

Until further notice, only Kuwaiti nationals, their relatives and those on the exemption list will be accepted for boarding.

Do I need to quarantine in a hotel?

From February 21, arriving passengers must undergo seven days self-funded quarantine in a hotel, followed by seven days home isolation. Courtesy Neil Scott Corder / Starwood Hotels & Resorts

From Sunday, anyone arriving in Kuwait will have to undergo self-funded compulsory quarantine for seven days in a designated hotel, followed by a further seven days of home isolation. This is bookable in advance, via the Ministry of Health.

This has changed from the previous rule which demanded 14 days of home isolation.

Only diplomats, Kuwaiti patients who travelled overseas for medical treatment, Kuwaiti students studying overseas, medical crews and unaccompanied minors are exempt from hotel quarantine.

How much will quarantine cost?

Diplomatic Suite. The 300-room Sheraton hotel in Kuwait is part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection. Courtesy Neil Scott Corder / Starwood Hotels & Resorts *** Local Caption ***  bz15de-LIFEexec-travel-04.jpg

The Kuwait Hotel Owners Association (KHOA) has announced recommended prices for each hotel category, according to local media.

For three-star hotels, the room rate has been set at KD20 (Dh243) per night for a standard single room and KD30 (Dh364) for a double room with breakfast and airport transfer.

Four-star hotels will cost KD30 (Dh364) per night for a standard single room or KD40 (Dh486) for a double room with breakfast and airport transfer.

Those looking to quarantine in luxury look set to pay KD45 (Dh546) per night for a standard single room and KD55 (Dh668) for a double room with breakfast and airport transfer in a five-star hotel.

The hotel quarantine policy will run until at least Sunday, March 21, when it will be reviewed.