Kuwait bans commercial flights to 31 countries

epa08406145 Egyptian citizens queue at Kuwait International Airport terminal 4, before boarding a repatriation flight to Cairo, Egypt, in Kuwait city, Kuwait, 06 May 2020. Countries around the world are taking increased measures to stem the widespread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes the COVID-19 disease. EPA-EFE/Noufal Ibrahim

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Kuwait has banned until further notice commercial flights to 31 countries it regards as high risk due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said on Saturday.

The countries include India, Pakistan, Egypt, the Philippines, Lebanon and Sri Lanka, which all have large numbers of expatriates in Kuwait. The list also includes China, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Iraq.

The ban was announced the same day that Kuwait began a partial resumption of commercial flights. The authorities have said Kuwait International Airport would run at about 30% capacity from Saturday, gradually increasing in coming months.

The health ministry also advised against all non-essential travel at the present time, government spokesman Tariq al-Muzaram said on Twitter.

On Friday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation issued a list of approved medical centres in 10 countries where passengers are able to obtain a health certificate prior to their arrival to Kuwait. “According to the health authorities instructions, all arrival passengers to Kuwait International Airport are required to submit a (PCR) certificate in English language issued by one of the accredited laboratories,” the The Directorate General of Civil Aviation said in a Tweet.

Kuwait, which has recorded nearly 67,000 coronavirus cases and more than 400 deaths, began a five-phase plan at the start of June to gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions. A partial curfew remains in place.

Gulf News / Reuters


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