Coronavirus: Kuwait prepares for next phase of reopening

Lockdowns lifted across the country after restrictions eased in Farwaniya

A staff member at 360 Mall sprays visitors arriving after Kuwait allowed shopping centres to reopen on July 1, 2020, after 110 days of shutdown. AFP
A staff member at 360 Mall sprays visitors arriving after Kuwait allowed shopping centres to reopen on July 1, 2020, after 110 days of shutdown. AFP

Kuwait on Sunday lifted coronavirus restrictions in the only area still under a strict lockdown as the country prepares for the third stage of its reopening plan.

The lockdown imposed on Farwaniya, one of Kuwait's six governorates, ended at 5am, the centre for government communication said on Twitter.

Kuwait has had 63,309 cases of Covid-19 and 429 deaths, including 684 new infections and four fatalities reported by the health ministry on Saturday.

The country will enter the third phase of easing coronavirus restrictions on Monday with a reduction in curfew hours, the resumption of taxi services – but with only one passenger per vehicle – and the reopening of hotels and resorts. Shopping centres were allowed to reopen at the beginning of July.

In addition, all mosques will open for prayers during Eid Al Adha, which falls at the end of the week. Only some mosques have been allowed to open to worshippers so far.

The curfew put in place to limit the spread of the virus will begin an hour later at 9pm and end two hours earlier at 3am.

Health Minister Basil Al Sabah told a cabinet meeting on Friday that plans to lift the curfew entirely in the third stage had been postponed in the interest of public health.

The decision is expected to be reviewed by the cabinet after the Eid Al Adha holiday.

Dr Al Sabah said the third stage of reopening would also see up to 50 per cent of staff returning to government offices and care homes being allowed to receive visitors.

With commercial passenger flights scheduled to resume in August, Kuwait's civil aviation authority on Saturday launched an app for travellers entering and leaving the country.

The Kuwaitmosafer app will help travellers to comply with health screening requirements and regulations, book a time slot at check-in counters and arrange protective equipment needed for their flight.

The official Kuwait News Agency said all passengers would have to download the app, available in Arabic and English from kuwaitmosafer.com, and enter their flight details to book an appointment for coronavirus test.

Updated: July 26, 2020 03:29 PM

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