Kuwait residents mask
Mask-clad residents walk in a neighbourhood of Kuwait City on May 12, 2020. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Kuwait will enforce a 12-hour partial curfew from 6pm to 6am starting Sunday as part of a five-phase plan to gradually return to normal life, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) has announced.

The step is part of a slew of measures to ease coronavirus-related restrictions. As per the new measures, mosques will reopen from Sunday in accordance with heath guidelines and preventive measures.

“We have approved a plan to gradually return to normal life, as we cannot continue with the complete lockdown. Returning to normal life and living with the pandemic is a must,” Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah said in a press conference following a meeting of the Kuwaiti government on Thursday evening.

Kuwait enforced a full lockdown from May 10 to 30 to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

Read more

“The adoption of a plan aimed at gradually returning to normal life was based on the experiences of many countries, developed by many experts and specialists,” the Prime Minister said.

“Kuwait will start imposing a 12-hour curfew to gradually return to normal life,” Anas Al Saleh, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister said during the conference.

Dr. Basel Al Sabah, Minister of Health, said the plan will be implemented across five phases, each of which spans three weeks, leading smoothly to the gradual restoration of normal life.

However, Al Farwaniya, Khaitan, Holi, Jleeb Al Shuyoukh and Mahboula will remain under lockdown, where intensified security patrols will station in these areas, the minister said.

“We cannot move from one phase to another unless requirements for moving is achieved. If not, we will prolong the phase or step back to the previous one,” he added.

In the first phase, mosques, industrial activities, public services including maintenance and laundry, home delivery services, drive thru services at restaurants and cafes, food retail shops, cooperative societies, company transport vehicles, patrol stations and private hospitals and medical clinics, will reopen.

Government offices will resume work with 30 per cent staff in the second phase of the plan. The sectors, which are set to reopen in the second phase, include the banking and financial sector, construction and building, retail shops, while commercial centres will open from 6am to 10pm. Services at restaurants and cafes will be limited to drive thru, while public parks will reopen to public.

In the third phase, government and private sector employees will resume work with at least 50 per cent of staff. Hotels, resorts and hotel apartments will also reopen, while taxis will be allowed to transport only one passenger, and visitors will be allowed to visit social welfare homes.

In the fourth phase, government and private employees will return to work from their offices with more than 50 per cent of staff. Public transport, restaurants and cafes will resume work provided they abide by social distancing.

In the fifth and final phase of the plan, family gatherings, weddings, social occasions and graduation ceremonies will no longer be banned, while government and private employees can resume worth with 100 per cent capacity. Sports clubs and spas, cultural events, exhibitions and conferences, barber shops, beauty centres, playgrounds and public arenas, cinema halls and theatres, will also reopen to public.