KUWAIT: Passengers queue at the check-in counters prior to their departure at Kuwait International Airport in this July 15, 2021 photo. - Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Kuwait is preparing to receive vaccinated residents from today, the health ministry announced on Friday. Abdullah Al-Sanad, spokesman of the ministry, said in a press statement that Kuwait airport will allow the return of fully vaccinated expats starting today according to the decision of the government. The ministry's team will check the vaccination certificates of travelers vaccinated outside the country, he added.

The spokesman asked vaccinated residents who will return to Kuwait to upload their vaccination certificates on the ministry's website for confirmation. According to the decision of the Kuwaiti government, arrivals must present the result of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure. When they land in Kuwait, they must be quarantined at home for seven days. If they want to end the quarantine early, they must have a negative PCR test result on the third day.

Visit visas remain suspended and there is no visa on arrival facility at Kuwait airport. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation last week issued new regulations for travelers from Aug 1. The regulations state that residents with valid iqamas can return to the country provided they have been vaccinated fully with one of four vaccines recognized by Kuwait. Other vaccines are not accepted.

The circular said only Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved. Two doses must be received of the first three vaccines and one dose of the fourth. Airlines have also instructed passengers that at least 14 days must lapse from the second dose to be allowed to board the plane.

The DGCA said residents and Kuwaitis who have been vaccinated in Kuwait - and after the green status appears in their Immune/Kuwait Mobile ID applications - should complete registration on the Shlonik application and Kuwait Mosafer platform.

Residents who have received approved vaccines outside Kuwait are required to authorize their vaccination certificate by uploading it to the health ministry website. A green mark will appear in a few days on the Immune/Kuwait Mobile ID apps. The vaccination must be verified electronically before boarding the plane and upon arrival in Kuwait through checking the QR code. No paper documents will be accepted. These travelers must also complete registration on the Shlonik app and Kuwait Mosafer platform.

Unvaccinated Kuwaitis who have the red or yellow status on their Immune/Kuwait Mobile ID apps must first complete registration with the Shlonik app and Kuwait Mosafer platform. They must pay the cost of two PCR tests and take the first upon arrival in Kuwait and the second on the sixth day of institutional quarantine. They must also pay the cost of the seven-day quarantine at a local hotel authorized and mentioned on the Kuwait Mosafer platform.

If the result of the second PCR test is negative, they will complete the seventh day of quarantine at the hotel and seven days at home. Kuwaitis who have received unrecognized vaccines outside Kuwait will be treated as unvaccinated. Members of the foreign diplomatic corps in Kuwait, their first-degree relatives (spouses and children) and their domestic helpers are exempted from institutional quarantine, provided they produce their official IDs.

Medical staff in the government and private sectors and their spouses and children, in addition to their domestic helpers, are also exempted from institutional quarantine provided they produce documents proving their profession. The circular also said only Kuwaiti citizens who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed to travel out of Kuwait from today. - Agencies