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Kuwait bans unvaccinated citizens from traveling overseas

Exceptions to the travel ban will be made for children under 16, pregnant women and certain adults with prior approval.
Passengers wait at the departure gate at Kuwait international airport, after a 12-day closure to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Kuwait City, Kuwait, Jan. 3, 2021.

Kuwait will bar its unvaccinated citizens from traveling abroad beginning Aug. 1, the government said Tuesday. 

Children under 16 and adults with a Health Ministry-issued exemption are not included in the travel ban. Exemptions will also be made for pregnant women who show a valid proof of pregnancy. 

Kuwaitis who received one dose of a coronavirus vaccine have been able to travel abroad since May 22. But under the new guidelines, travelers must have received both doses of their government-approved vaccine and are required to display the green color in the Ministry of Health-developed phone app before boarding a plane. Health insurance covering COVID-19-related illness is also required of Kuwaitis who leave the country.

Six months after closing its borders to foreign travelers, the tiny Gulf country announced last month that non-citizens can travel to Kuwait beginning Aug. 1 if they are fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

The country of some 4.8 million has registered more than 394,000 cases of the virus and over 2,200 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Citing a decline in coronavirus cases, the Kuwaiti government said Monday that it was lifting restrictions on commercial activities, including malls, restaurants and cafes. 

Business conferences, weddings and other large social gatherings are still prohibited. Children’s activities, including summer camps, will reopen on Sept. 1.