KUWAIT: Pictures taken from outside the Friday Market yesterday. - Photos by Ben Garcia

By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: The Friday Market in Rai is still closed and there is no indication when it will be allowed to reopen to the public. The Friday Market is popular with expats looking for used items and cheap goods. On March 13, the Municipality closed the market until further notice as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Also, most of the vendors at the market live in the locked down areas of Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Mahboula. When asked about its scheduled reopening, a guard at the gate told Kuwait Times yesterday it could be next week or even later. "Many people come and ask about the reopening," he added.

"We hope the market opens soon. I need to buy something for my house and I know I can get it there," a Syrian told Kuwait Times. Asked if he is was afraid of the coronavirus, as it could stay on things such as clothing for a long time, he said: "No, I don't think it can survive in Kuwait's weather. Besides, the market is outdoors - we only need to be doubly cautious and disinfect the things we buy from the Friday Market once it is allowed to reopen." The man however acknowledged he is neither a doctor nor a health practitioner, but a mechanic.

Meanwhile, the nearby pet market is open. Many of the shops at the market reopened on Tuesday. "We were shut down in March, but we were here every day to check on our pets. We have live animals here such as dogs, cats, birds, etc. They need food, so we came daily to feed them," a shop attendant told Kuwait Times.