Kuwait introduces travel restrictions to and from Iran, from Feb. 21 until further notice. Additional travel restrictions possible.

Severity: Informational Alert

This alert began 21 Feb 2020 16:13 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite as of Feb. 21
  • Impact: Entry restrictions; health screenings; likely increased immigration wait times

Summary
The Kuwaiti Ports Authority suspended the movement of people to Iran via land ports Feb. 21 until further notice due to concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Additionally Iranian citizens will not be allowed into Kuwait via land ports as of Feb. 21.

The announcement comes a day after Kuwait Airways (KU), the country's flag carrier, suspended all flights to and from Iran. The Feb. 21 announcement also comes after Kuwait's Ministry of Health advised Kuwaiti citizens against traveling to the Iranian city of Qom. The ministry further stated that any returnees from Qom, local or foreign, to Kuwait will be subject to additional health screenings and a mandatory quarantine period until officials can verify travelers are free of the disease; the ministry did not state how long the quarantine period would be. The travel restrictions come after Iranian officials confirmed the deaths of two individuals from COVID-19 in Qom, Feb. 19.

The purpose of the restrictions is to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The WHO has declared the ongoing outbreak of the virus to be a global health emergency. COVID-19 originated in China's Wuhan City, in Hubei Province.

Advice
Individuals affected by the restrictions should postpone planned travel. Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. 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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