Kuwait airport
A man greets his family upon their arrival at Kuwait international airport on August 1, 2021, as the authorities allowed entry for fully vaccinated expats. Image Credit: AFP

Kuwait City: After seven months of not being allowed into Kuwait, expats are now free to travel to the country as long as they have two doses of an approved vaccine and a valid residency permit.

The Ministry of Health has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Many expats have been stuck outside the country for months, some even since the pandemic began a year and a half ago, due to several travel restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

One passenger, who arrived on a flight from Egypt on Sunday, stated that she had been out of the country for seven months due to the travel ban, which was implemented in the beginning of February.

While vaccinated residents are allowed into the country, direct travel between India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal is still banned. Passengers travelling from those countries need to be quarantined in a non-banned country for 14-days before they arrive in Kuwait.

PCR test

Prior to arrival, all passengers need to prove a negative PCR test conducted no more than 72 hours before arrival. In addition, they need to download the Kuwait Mosafer and Shlonik applications.

Once in Kuwait, residents need to quarantine for one week. If people do not want to be quarantined for the whole week, they need to do a PCR test in Kuwait and once the negative result is out they can end their quarantine.

Article 20 passengers

The rules differ for residents holding an Article 20 visa, which is specific to domestic workers. They are free to travel to Kuwait even if not vaccinated, but need to follow certain regulations.

For those that are vaccinated and travelling from a banned country, they must also spend 14-days in a non-banned country. Once in Kuwait they must quarantine in a hotel for seven days and follow the instructions on the BelSalamah application. Those wanting to end their quarantine earlier can conduct a PCR test if the quarantine period will end.

Registration on the BelSalamah application only applies to non-vaccinated passengers carrying an article 20 visa.

As for those that are non-vaccinated, if arriving from a banned country they must stay in a non-banned country for 14-days and then quarantine in a hotel in Kuwait for another 14-days. As for those unvaccinated and entering from non-banned countries, they can travel directly to Kuwait but need to be quarantined for 14-days in a hotel.