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Kuwait to ease virus restrictions

The Gulf state places strict restrictions on unvaccinated people despite low case counts and a low vaccination rate.

The Kuwaiti government will ease some coronavirus-related restrictions in the coming days.

The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah announced that social distancing measures at mosques will be dropped beginning Friday. The outdoor mask mandate will also end Sunday, though mask and distancing requirements will remain in place for some indoor spaces, the official Kuwait News Agency reported.

Kuwait has instituted many strict regulations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly regarding the vaccine. In July, the government banned unvaccinated people from traveling abroad. The government also said that people who have not received two COVID-19 vaccine doses cannot participate in weddings, conferences and other social events, according to the agency.

The Kuwaiti government took office in March. The Sabah family dominates the emirate’s political system.

Virus cases in Kuwait are low at present. The Ministry of Health reported just 21 new cases Wednesday among the country’s population of more than four million. The country has counted more 400,000 cases to date.

Most of the Kuwaiti population is unvaccinated. Just over 21% of people have received two vaccine doses and a little more than 12% have received one dose, according to the Oxford-based Our World in Data.

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