By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The Cabinet decided yesterday to allow restaurants and cafes to receive people for dine-in services with the implementation of health safety precautions. The decision will go into effect on Sunday, May 23. The Cabinet's decision came after a number of lawmakers called on the government yesterday to abolish or ease health measures imposed to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, with some describing some of the measures as unconstitutional.

MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari said the government should differentiate between urging people and forcing them to take the COVID-19 vaccine, adding that the government should not compel people to get vaccinated. Kandari said linking activities and travel to vaccination is illegal and the government should abolish such unconstitutional decisions. MP Hamad Al-Matar called on the government to halt mandatory vaccination for travel, especially for students, stop forcing travelers to pay KD 60 for two PCR tests, institutional quarantine at hotels and banning dining at restaurants.

MP Hisham Al-Saleh asked Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah about the legal basis for banning unvaccinated citizens from traveling and why the government is charging citizens arriving from abroad KD 60 for two PCR tests. MP Osama Al-Munawer submitted a proposal calling on the government to offer PCR tests to traveling citizens free of charge.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Khalifa Hamada said yesterday that the government has no plans to impose direct or income taxes on citizens. In a reply to a question by MP Khalil Al-Saleh, the minister also said low- and medium-income people will not be affected by the government's plans for economic reforms.

Opposition MP Abdullah Al-Mudhalf yesterday submitted a proposal calling on the National Assembly's public funds defense committee to launch an investigation into a number of suspected high-profile corruption cases. The lawmaker said the Assembly should ask the committee to prepare reports on such cases. Ten lawmakers yesterday submitted a motion calling to hold a special Assembly session to discuss problems and obstacles facing housing projects with the aim to speed up such projects.