Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Authorities in Kuwait issue advisory against nationals and residents traveling abroad July 10 due to increased global COVID-19 activity.
- Alert Begins: 11 Jul 2020 11:18 AM UTC
- Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Increased security, travel and business disruptions
Kuwait's Ministry of Health issued an advisory against all international travel July 10. The measure is in response to a rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases globally. The measure is not expected to impact the scheduled partial resumption of flights from Kuwait International Airport (KWI) Aug. 1.
Authorities lifted a 24-hour curfew and movement restrictions in Jaleeb Al-Shukoukh and Maboula July 9. A 24-hour curfew remains in force in Farwaniya until further notice. A nationwide 2000-0500 curfew has been in place since June 30.
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. From July 17, Friday noon prayers are expected to be permitted.
- 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.
- Workers employed in essential sectors, such as health, security, and construction, are exempt from the curfew.
- 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.
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.