Kuwait requires certain travelers provide a certificate that they are coronavirus-free starting March 8. Other restrictions remain in force.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 03 Mar 2020 20:29 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Start Time/Date: March 8
  • Impact: Entry restrictions; health screenings; likely increased immigration wait times

The Kuwaiti Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced that, beginning March 8, travelers from the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Syria, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Georgia, and Lebanon will be required to produce certificates issued by the Kuwaiti embassy in their respective country verifying they are free of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Travelers from these countries who do not provide certificates will be barred from entry.

As of Feb. 25, the DGCA had suspended all flights with Singapore, Japan, Iran, Italy, Iraq, South Korea, and Thailand until further notice. Non-Kuwaiti nationals who visited these countries within the previous 14 days are not being permitted to enter Kuwait, even with a valid visa. Returning Kuwaiti nationals, on the other hand, are subject to additional health screenings and a mandatory 14-day quarantine period until officials can verify they are free of the disease. Authorities announced they would stop issuing visas for those coming from these countries.

Additionally, the Kuwaiti Ports Authority (KPA) announced March 3 that the Doha port had been closed to avoid interaction with Iranian ship crews. The KPA previously banned entry to all Iraqi maritime vessels from the ports of Shuaiba, Shuwaikh, and Doha, Feb. 24, until further notice. Further air, maritime, and ground travel restrictions and screening measures are likely over the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The World Health Organization has declared the ongoing outbreak of the virus to be a global health emergency. COVID-19 originated in Wuhan City in China's Hubei Province. As of March 2, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health confirmed 56 cases of COVID-19; the majority of infected individuals were evacuated from Iran or had been in contact with people from Iran.

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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