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Travellers arrive at Kuwait international Airport, in Farwaniya, about 15kms south of Kuwait City in a file photo. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: The Kuwaiti government’s recent decisions, easing travel restrictions related to COVID-19, do not apply to expatriates, Kuwaiti media reported, citing civil aviation sources.

Earlier this week, the government announced lifting several curbs against COVID-19, including the scrapping of pre-departure and on-arrival PCR testing for fully vaccinated travellers. The new measures are due to take effect as of next Sunday, February 20.

But Al Anba newspaper quoted official sources at the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) as saying that the latest measures will apply to Kuwaiti citizens, not expatriates, who will have to comply with earlier requirements obligating them to present a negative PCR test result conducted 72 hours before arrival in the country, the sources said.

Accordingly, unvaccinated expatriates continue to be barred from entering Kuwait while the vaccinated expatriates are allowed entry, provided they received the second dose of vaccination against COVID-19 not more than nine months ago and undergo a PCR test 72 hours before arrival with a negative result. They will also have to go into home quarantine for seven days after arrival.

As for expatriates who have obtained a booster shot against COVID-19, they are required to undergo a PCR test to end their post-arrival domestic quarantine, according to the sources.

Foreign children aged above six have to present a negative PCR test result.

Meanwhile, Al Rai newspaper quoted a DGCA circular directed to airlines operating in Kuwait as saying that the entry of unvaccinated travellers to the country is confined to Kuwaiti citizens only. DGCA reportedly added that starting from February 20, all travellers will be allowed to depart from the country without coronavirus-related health stipulations, but the passengers will have to comply with the health requirements set by the countries to which they head.

Unvaccinated Kuwaiti arrivals in the country or those who are partially vaccinated will have to present a negative PCR test result conducted 72 hours before the flight, it added.