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Expats in transit unable to return to Kuwait due to fresh travel bans

13 March 2021

As travel ban on non-Kuwaitis entering Kuwait continues, several expats who have been stuck in neighbouring countries are beginning to lose hope about their return to Kuwait, while travellers are returning back to their home countries.

On 7th February, the Kuwaiti government announced that non-Kuwaitis will not be allowed entry in to the country for two weeks. Just two hours prior to welcoming the non-Kuwaiti passengers after the ban, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in its tweet, made an announcement that non-Kuwaitis will be further barred entry into the country until further notice.

Kuwait expats

As per media reports, there are hundreds of expats, particularly from countries like Philippines, India and Egypt, who are stuck in Dubai due to travel ban.

On 8th February, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi advised its nationals not to travel to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia via the UAE, as both the countries have implemented fresh and stringent travel measures. Moreover, the embassy has advised travellers who are stranded in the UAE to return home.

When the Kuwait airport reopened last August, all non-Kuwaitis travelling from 35 countries were required to quarantine in a country that is not banned entry. The quarantine was for 14 days prior to their travel to Kuwait. This made several expats to travel to other neighbouring countries in the Gulf as a transit stop.

Till date, there is no sign of travel ban being lifted, and several expats have decided to travel back to their home countries due to the financial constraints involved in staying in other Gulf countries.

In order to relieve some of their financial burden, some charities in Dubai have come forward to help those stuck in the Emirate, and those unable to return to Kuwait. Certain community groups in the UAE have been serving free meals and accommodation to people stranded in the UAE.

However, domestic workers (under Article 20 visa) have been exempted from the travel ban and they are able to travel to Kuwait, provided, they are registered in the BelSalamah app.

Further, Chartered flights have been arranged between Kuwaiti airlines and other national airlines like Sri Lankan airlines and Air India to transport domestic workers back to Kuwait. On arrival, however, they are required to undergo hotel quarantine at their own expense for 14 days.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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