The civil aviation authority in Kuwait has asked passengers returning to Kuwait from 10 populous nations including Sri Lanka to produce health certificates showing they are free of the deadly coronavirus, otherwise they will be denied entry.
The action will be implemented from March 8.
In a statement posted on its Twitter account, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said passengers arriving from India, Egypt, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Syria and Lebanon, in addition to Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia must undergo tests for the coronavirus and produce certificates showing negative results before boarding planes to Kuwait.
The first seven countries, especially India and Egypt, have an estimated 2.5 million people, or almost three quarters of all expatriates, living and working in Kuwait. Authorities have already banned the entry of expats who recently visited several countries infected with the coronavirus, including Iran, Iraq, China, South Korea and others.
The civil aviation circular said passengers from the 10 abovementioned countries must carry out COVID-19 tests at medical centers approved by Kuwaiti embassies in those countries, which must be attested. In countries where there are no Kuwaiti missions, the tests must be attested by the health authorities in that country.
The statement said passengers who do not produce the certificate will be barred from entering Kuwait and will be sent back on the same carrier, which will be fined. It said that Kuwaiti citizens arriving from these countries will undergo the necessary tests at Kuwait airport.
Kuwait has in the previous few days banned the entry of nationals from infected countries, stopped issuing visit visas to citizens of a dozen countries and introduced restrictions on visit visas for some nationalities. The ministry of health yesterday said no new coronavirus cases have been found, with the number of cases staying at 56. The ministry said it carried out tests on some 3,100 people, the overwhelming majority of whom have returned from Iran. (Kuwait Times)