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Kuwait Airways has obtained special government approval to call back into service 250 of the retired pilots, crew and engineers, due to shortages created by the aviation boom in the region. Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Kuwait is studying the possibility of resuming direct flights with some countries on an aviation ban list in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, according to an aviation official.

Over the past months, Kuwait has imposed travel restrictions, including a ban on flights with several countries, prompted by concerns over the global coronavirus pandemic.

Starting from August 1, non-Kuwaitis will be allowed to enter Kuwait after a ban of nearly six months.

“A decision to reopen direct flying routes with five banned countries is under study,” Director General of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Yousef Al Fawzan said without naming those countries.

He was answering a question on reasons for keeping a ban on flights with countries that have large communities in Kuwait such as India and Egypt. “No decision has been taken yet on this,” he added, according to Al Anba newspaper.

According to a recent DGCA circular, the vaccinated expatriates to be allowed into the country are required to register themselves in the health Shlonik app and the Kuwait Musafer platform, necessary for all passengers traveling to and from the country.

As for the expatriates inoculated abroad with vaccines approved in Kuwait, they will have to get their vaccination certificates accredited by uploading them on the Health Ministry website while proving electronically they have received the jabs before boarding their flights heading to Kuwait. On arrival in Kuwait, they need to complete registration via the Shlonik app and the Kuwait Musafar platform.

Vaccines approved in Kuwait are two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and one dose of Johnson & Johnson.

“The DGCA is ready to receive the expatriates stranded in different countries of the world according to the conditions explained by the Health Ministry,” Al Fawzan said. These conditions do not apply to children under 16 years whether they are Kuwaitis or foreigners, according to the official.

Since February 7, foreigners have been barred from travelling to Kuwait. The ban is due to be lifted on August 1 when vaccinated foreign residents, who have a valid residency permit can enter Kuwait.