Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Kuwait introduce new curfew hours of 2100-0300 beginning July 28 amid easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

  • Alert Begins: 24 Jul 2020 09:45 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Increased security, travel and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Kuwait will change the nationwide nightly curfew from 2000-0500 to 2100-0300, beginning July 28 until further notice. Workers employed in essential sectors, such as health, security, and construction, are exempt from the curfew. A 24-hour curfew in Farwaniya will be lifted from 0500 July 26. The measures come amid a phased easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions nationwide.

Other measures taken by the government of Kuwait include:

 

  • On June 30, authorities in Kuwait approved a three-phased plan to resume commercial flights from Kuwait International Airport from Aug. 1. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will oversee a three-phased plan, where flight services will operate at 30 percent in the first stage, 60 percent in the second stage, and 100 percent capacity in the third and final stage. Until Aug. 1, all commercial flights to and from Kuwait remain suspended. International arrivals are limited to Kuwaiti nationals and cargo planes.

 

  • Public- and private-sector workplaces are allowed to open with less than 30 percent capacity, in addition to the resumption of work in shopping malls, the financial and banking sector, the construction sector, retail shops, parks, and pick-ups from restaurants and cafes.

 

  • Mosques in residential and sparsely populated areas have resumed daily prayers. Friday noon prayers have resumed.

 

  • Protective face coverings must be worn in public. Violators may face fines or imprisonment of up to three months.

 

  • Residents can engage in outdoor fitness activities in residential neighborhoods daily but must comply with social distancing guidelines.

 

  • Kuwaiti sea ports have been prohibited from receiving foreign vessels arriving from or departing to several foreign countries, including China, Hong Kong SAR, and Iran.

 

  • Schools and universities will remain closed through at least Aug. 4.

 

 

Background and Analysis
Kuwait's restrictions and preventive measures are similar to actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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