On Friday, July 31, Kuwait's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced that Kuwait International Airport (KWI) will resume international flights to 20 countries from Saturday, August 1. The resumption of commercial flights will end a five-month hiatus due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Arriving passengers will be subject to a 14-day quarantine period and need to provide travel insurance covering the treatment of COVID-19. Departing passengers must ensure they meet the travel requirements for their destination. The resumption of flights is part of the Kuwaiti government's three-stage plan to gradually resume international air travel. Each phase will last six months with set limits on operational capacity and passenger numbers. From August 1 to February 1, 2021, KWI must operate at no more than 30 percent, with no more than 10,000 passengers and 100 flights per day. This will increase to 60 percent, 20,000 passengers and 200 flights per day in phase two from February to August next year, before the third and final phase, where full operations will resume.
Kuwaiti authorities implemented the third phase of the country's five-stage economic reopening plan on Tuesday, July 28. The nightly curfew has been shortened to between 21:00 and 03:00 (local time), hotels and mosques can reopen, and taxis are permitted to operate. The decision will be reviewed following the Eid al-Adha holiday, which ends on August 3. Additionally, the government ended the isolation of the Farwaniya province on July 19, the last remaining governorate to have been isolated.
As of Saturday, August 1, health authorities have confirmed 65,957 COVID-19 cases with 447 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized. "
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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