MIAMI – Kuwait has today banned commercial flights to 31 countries until further notice. The country’s Civil Aviation Directorate-General considers these states high risk due to coronavirus outbreak.

The countries include India, Pakistan, Egypt, the Philippines, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka, which all have large numbers of expatriates in Kuwait. The list also includes China, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, and Iraq, according to

The ban occurs on the same day a partial resumption of commercial flights starts in Kuwait.

PhotoÑ Kuwait Airways.

Kuwait International Airport Capacity

Authorities have also said that starting today, Kuwait International Airport (KWI) will operate at about 30% of its capacity. Flights from the airport will increase gradually in the coming months.

At the start of June, the country launched a five-phase program to slowly remove restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus. A partial curfew is also in place.

The ban is another blow for the country’s aviation industry. Back in May, Kuwait Airways (KU) announced it would lay-off around 1,500 of its foreign employees. They represent over 20% of KU’s total workforce of 6,925 employees.

Kuwait has reported nearly 67,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 400 deaths,