Kuwait City: Despite the fact that a large portion of the citizens and expats in Kuwait is vaccinated, strict travel restrictions still remain in place.
According to health sources, around 67 per cent of the population has received at last one jab of the COVID-19 vaccine. Although more than half of those eligible have received some form of protection, several restrictions have yet to be lifted and there has been no indication that they will be lifted anytime soon.
Ongoing ban on expats
While many non-Kuwaitis received either the first or both doses of the vaccine, they are still barred from travelling to Kuwait despite the fact that their Kuwaiti counterparts are able to travel easily if they are vaccinated. Many expats have gone months, some over year, without seeing their families due to ongoing travel restrictions. The ban was put in place on February 7 and is in effect until further notice.
Many people have criticised the travel ban, calling it illogical and inhuman as it targets a person solely based on their nationality. Arguments have been put forward claiming that restrictions should be enforced on both Kuwaitis and expats, especially since the virus does not differentiate between nationalities.
Restrictions on Kuwaitis
Vaccinated Kuwaitis who are able to travel still face some issues as the Kuwait airport is still operating at a limited capacity. So far, all flights entering Kuwait can only carry up to 35 passengers. According to the Federation of Tourism and Travel Offices, the limited seats have increased the price of tickets four times - too high a cost for many. Since May 22, Kuwaitis who are unvaccinated are unable to travel. Those who are exempt from the decision are: pregnant women, those who have a certificate from the Ministry of Health stating their inability to receive the vaccine due to health conditions, children under the eligible age, students studying abroad and members of the diplomatic core.