MIAMI – Kuwait’s Directorate General Civil Aviation has announced that foreign passengers will be banned from entry to the country “until further notice.” The announcement was made just hours before the original ban, implemented on February 7, was scheduled to be lifted.

Kuwaiti nationals returning to Kuwait are exempt from this ban but are required to quarantine in a hotel for seven days and then at home for a further seven days. Passengers eligible to enter Kuwait must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test not older than 72 hours.

Entries will also have to undergo two more PCR tests once in Kuwait, one at the airport and another halfway through their quarantine period.

Kuwait Airways 9K-AOE Boeing 777-369(ER), Alberto Cuchini: @ac_avphoto

Losses for the Country’s Aviation Industry

This ban extension is yet another blow to Kuwait’s airline industry, which is already reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kuwait Airways (KU), the country’s flag-carrier airline, laid off 1,500 foreign workers in May 2020, citing losses from COVID-19 as well as earlier losses in 2019. Jazeera Airways (J9), a low-cost carrier based in Kuwait City, reported losses of KD15.5m in the third quarter of 2020.

Kuwait’s travel sector may also suffer due to this ban extension, having already recorded US$1bn in losses in 2020.

Featured image: Jazeera Airways 9K-CAJ Airbus A320-214. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways