KUWAIT: Passengers arrive at the Kuwait International Airport in this file photo.-Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The Civil Aviation Authority yesterday announced the resumption of direct commercial flights with India, Egypt and four Asian nations starting today after several months of suspension to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The resumption of the flights also includes Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Together, the six nations have more than 70 percent of the 3.3 million expats living and working in Kuwait. The first flight is expected to arrive from Egypt after midnight on Wednesday to be followed with two flights from India. The civil aviation circular emphasized the need to observe health guidelines.

The decision to resume direct flights was taken by the Council of Ministers earlier this week on recommendation by the coronavirus ministerial committee following a sharp drop in the number of new cases and the number of patients. The civil aviation also recalled that immunized passengers are those who had received two doses of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca and one dose of Johnson and Johnson. Those who had received two doses of unapproved vaccines abroad - Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik V - must receive and additional dose of one of the four approved vaccines.

Those who had been vaccinated in Kuwait can prove vaccination through Immune or Kuwait Mobile ID applications or Kuwait Mosafer platform, the civil aviation said. Those who had been fully vaccinated outside Kuwait can prove vaccination by producing a certificate with name identical to one in passport, type of vaccine and dates, vaccination authority and the QR code. If the QR code is not available, the vaccination certificate should be uploaded to the health ministry website for authentication.

Non-immunized domestic workers can be recruited through registration in the Belsalamah platform, the civil aviation said. In the meantime, the civil aviation authority has asked the Council of Ministers to increase the number of arriving passengers above the currently allowed 7,500 because of the expected influx of expats into the country following the resumption of direct flights with the six countries.