CORONAVIRUS DIARY: COVID-19 Information Update in Kuwait

CORONAVIRUS DIARY: COVID-19 Information Update in Kuwait

Today, lots of information have been surging in and out through the internet or any forms of media. Among all these data, the coronavirus pandemic is the standing topic above all. However, due to the easy accessibility to the internet world, perceiving the credibility and truthfulness of these updates has been difficult. Much fake news surrounded the credible ones, which can cause unnecessary panic and anxieties towards the community.

To make all things easier for you, I have prepared a list of COVID-19 information updates that will significantly help you be aware of all the implemented guidelines in the country of Kuwait. It aims to help all individuals, especially my fellow Kabayans, in Kuwait, to be updated on all the guidelines imposed by the Kuwait government. I encourage each one of us to read through the information updates and share this information to raise awareness to our fellow citizens and residents in Kuwait.

UPDATES OF DEPARTING FLIGHTS FROM KUWAIT:

  • Commercial flights are reopened on August 1, 2020, in which it operates under the first stage of its resumption. The initial phase will continue for six months. It will operate with no more than 30 percent of its full operation.
  • The Kuwait authorities only permitted 20,000 passengers for 200 flights per day.
  • On its reopening, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended commercial flights to 31 specified countries. The 31 countries are Kosovo, Dominican Republic, Montenegro, Serbia, Peru, Panama, Moldova, North Macedonia, Italy, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Egypt, Pakistan, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Spain, Syria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Columbia, Iran, India, and China.

UPDATES OF IMPOSED GUIDELINES IN KUWAIT:

DURING THE THIRD PHASE PLAN (July 28 – August 18, 2020)

  • The Kuwait government imposed the third phase plan on Monday of July 28, 2020, reducing its curfew to six hours. It begins on 9:00 pm until 3:00 pm.
  • The isolation or lockdown protocol in Farwaniya is lifted at 5:00 pm on July 26, 2020.
  • The opening hours of the malls were altered. Its opening will begin on 10:00 am until 8:00 pm. Paralleled and retail food markets will be open from 6:00 am until 8:00 am.

DURING THE SECOND PHASE PLAN (June 30 – July 28, 2020)

  • The Kuwait government implemented the second phase plan on Tuesday of June 30, 2020. It altered the nationwide curfew to 8:00 pm to 5:00 am.
  • The current areas imposed with full lockdown measures include Mahboula, Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, and Farwaniya, except streets 60, 120, 129, and 502. The authorities do not permit the residents within the isolated regions to leave their neighborhood. However, they can leave their houses before the curfew time.
  • Violating the curfew will face imprisonment and fines. For foreign nationals, the risk of deportation will be applied.
  • Wearing face masks is mandated in all public spaces. Violating this law will face imprisonment for up to three months and/or be charged with 5,000 KD.
  • Online appointments for shopping are highly recommended and available at grocery stores during the partial curfew.

DURING THE FIRST PHASE PLAN (June 21 – June 29, 2020)

  • The curfew time starting on June 21, 2020, is changed from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am.
  • The Kuwait Cabinet decided to extend the implementation of the first phase plan in the country instead of shifting the implemented measures to the second phase in June 30, 2020. However, they decided to lift the isolation protocols in Hawally, Maidan Hawally, Nugra and selected blocks in Khaitan.
  • The Kuwait government implemented a 12-hour nationwide curfew, which will start from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am as the nation begins its Phase 1 of Kuwait’s five-phase plan of a gradual return to normalcy. It is currently in effect as long as the country is progressing in the First Phase plan.
  • Despite the easing of nationwide lockdown measures, the Kuwait government imposed complete lockdown in several regions. These areas include Khaitan (Blocks 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9); Farwaniya (except for areas in Streets 60, 120, 502, and 129); Hawally, Jleeb Al-Shuoyoukh, and Mahboula. The people residing in these areas can go outside but cannot leave within the isolated region. This isolation protocol is currently in effect until further notice.
  • The Ministry of Interior will charge any individuals who will violate the curfew order or lockdown measures with imprisonment and fines. Foreign nationals who are charged with violation faces a risk of deportation from the country.
  • The Ministry of Health mandates all citizens and residents to wear face masks in all public spaces. If individuals fail to comply with the guideline, they will be fined up to 5,000 KD and/or be imprisoned for up to three months.
  • In the first phase, several stores impose age restrictions and limiting the number of customers within the establishment. For the cooperative stores, the government prohibits them from selling goods to non-residents in the area. All citizens and residents must buy their essential commodities in the cooperative stores near them.
  • As the country begins Phase 1 of its implemented plan, the following selected operations and services are allowed to be reopened. It includes the mosques, home delivery services, café drive-through and restaurants, banks, company transport vehicles, private hospitals, auto repair shops, medical clinics, and general services such as maintenance and laundry. The Phase 1 is implemented since May 31, 2020.
  • In the implementation of Phase 1, all non-emergency government offices remain closed. It will include all public places such as parks and beaches; all public transportations such as taxi services and all social gatherings such as weddings, public and private diwaniyas, and receptions. All educational institutions are suspended until the beginning of August. The first phase will be implemented for three weeks since May 31, 2020.  
  • The first phase will be implemented for three weeks since May 31, 2020.  
  • The Kuwait government declared the official reopening of the Kuwait International Airport to allow the operation of outbound flights of airlines. It is implemented since April 11, 2020.
  • The Kuwait government ordered the closure of Kuwait International Airport of all inbound commercial flights. However, it exempts those Kuwaiti citizens from their immediate relatives who are returning to the country. Cargo air traffic will continue despite its suspension. It is implemented since March 14, 2020.
  • The Kuwait government announced that non-Kuwait citizens are prohibited from traveling to Kuwait. It does not apply to the individuals, who are immediate family members of Kuwait citizens. However, they must be going together with their Kuwaiti family members. It is implemented from March 11, 2020.

UPDATES OF CONSULAR OPERATIONS

  • The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait announced the suspension of their on-site services on August 16, 2020 until further notice. It is because five of their employees tested positive of COVID-19.
  • Starting on July 2, 2020, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait suspended its on-site services because one of its employees tested positive of coronavirus infection. The reopening of its office is scheduled for July 16, 2020. It is in accordance with the medical protocols imposed by the Kuwait Ministry of Health.
  • Because of the COVID-19 crisis, the staff at the Embassy is reduced to implement social distancing. The processing of passport application and renewal continues to be available.
  • For passport application and renewal, the Embassy established an online appointment system. To view the process of their online appointments, click here.
  • Limited appointments are catered in the office. The Embassy also prioritized the individuals whose passport have expired or about to expire.

UPDATE OF ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

  • Kuwait ordered the closure of its airport and land border with Iraq.
  • Saudi Arabia restricted land border crossings to and from Kuwait for commercial traffic only. For the individuals who were in Kuwait, they are prohibited from entering or transiting Saudi Arabia. It is irrespective of their visa or residency status.
  • The Ministry of Interior permits the renewal of the resident permits of Article 22 (dependent) and Article 24 (self-employed) visa holders. The residents can apply for renewal online. The Interior Ministry also gave an extension to Article 14 (temporary residence) visa holders for three months. The residents can extend it through applying online for a fee of 3KD.
  • The Kuwait government automatically extended tourist visas and residencies if foreign nationals until August 31, 20020. Therefore, no payment or any action is needed for its holders since the extension is processed automatically.
  • The Kuwait government extended the given time of foreign national with valid Kuwait residencies. The government will allow them to remain outside of the country for one year.
  • The Kuwait government prohibited the Department of Defense contractors from entering the country. The restriction is currently in effect until further notice from the Foreign Clearance Guide.

UPDATE OF QUARANTINE INFORMATION:

  • The Kuwait citizens who arrived from foreign countries with no COVID-19 symptoms are required to undergo home quarantine for 14 days. For those who are showing symptoms, they are required to undergo institutional quarantine.
  • The Kuwait government affirmed that it prohibited the repatriation of foreign nationals who died from the coronavirus disease. They will instead be buried in the country.

Resources:

MUST READ AND SHARE!

Your Ultimate Access to Kuwait Directories in this COVID-19 Crisis

CORONAVIRUS: Kuwait OFW Quarantine Diaries – TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Three Important Steps to Call for Helpline

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