Gulf Business: Kuwait’s cabinet has introduced a series of new restrictions to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Starting February 24, and until further notice, entry to malls, cafes and restaurants will be barred. These establishments can still though operate deliver-only services.
The number of employees in government workplaces has been capped at 30 per cent, while private sector attendance within offices has been limited to 50 per cent. The cabinet added that the decisions regarding workspaces will be enforced indefinitely starting from February 24.
Curbs on public transportation have also been introduced. Beginning Wednesday, the number of passengers in buses has been reduced to 30 per cent of its capacity.
The cabinet also decided to close the country’s land and sea borders for a period starting from February 24 until March 20.
The country’s Council of Ministers said that shipping operations and workers operating in the neutral zone are exempt from this decision. Also, citizens and domestic workers accompanying them, are allowed to return through land and sea ports, as are citizens’ first-degree relatives.
Kuwait has already indefinitely banned the entry of non-Kuwaiti nationals until further notice through its airports. Kuwaiti nationals, and certain categories of expats including diplomats are still allowed to enter, but will be subject to institutional quarantine for seven days, after which they will need to quarantine at home for another seven days.
This week, the country has added 33 countries – including the UAE, US, South Africa, Turkey and Germany – to a list of Covid-19 ‘high-risk’ countries where the virus is considered to be ‘widespread’. Travellers arriving on direct flights from high risk countries would have to undergo institutional quarantine in a local hotels for 14 days. Passengers from other countries will have to quarantine institutionally for one week and for another week at home.
All passengers arriving in Kuwait must also produce a negative Covid-19 PCR result conducted in the previous 72 hours.
On Monday, Kuwait reported 899 new infections, taking the total number of cases detected thus far up to 184,989.