New Kuwaiti ban on expat arrivals causes airport chaos and confusion

Published:  10 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, USA, Jobs
Expats expecting to be transferred to Kuwait or who’ve accepted new jobs in the emirate are now unable to get visas due to the coronavirus outbreak, although those related to diplomatic missions will still be granted.

As another attempt to slow down infection rates, all Kuwaitis as well as expat residents arriving in Kuwait will be forced to undergo compulsory quarantine, either at their home address, in hospital or at recently set up quarantine centres. In addition, all cinemas, theatres and private or public halls used for weddings or conferences will now be closed down for an undisclosed period of time. Funerals can still be held at certain cemeteries after preventive measures have been set in place.

In addition, wedding tents used for receptions will also be disallowed in order to slow the rate of infection, and billboards setting out preventative measures are to be displayed in public places. Lengths of quarantine periods as well as locations of facilities are now being decided by Kuwait’s Ministry of Health, and expats living and working in the emirate are being urged to cooperate in order to lessen the risk of a pandemic.

Meanwhile in Qatar, all schools and universities are to be shut down for an unspecified period, even although the emirate’s suspected and confirmed cases are low compared to those in many other countries. Residents and expats are now being urged to avoid public places and large gatherings in order to slow the rate of infection. For up-to-date information, those with concerns should call the dedicated hotline on 16000.

For expats whose visas are about to expire, returning to their home countries will only be possible through the use of connecting flights via other countries, and expiring visas will not be extended in these cases. In Kuwait, the health ministry’s ban on expat arrivals form seven separate countries is causing chaos at the airport. Of many incoming flights from the specified countries, some passengers were told to go back and others were let through following medical examinations and, out of several thousand arrivals, only 500 were allowed entry.
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