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Kuwait to ease COVID-19 restrictions


Kuwait to ease COVID-19 restrictions

Photo: Stephanie McGehee/Reuters

Kuwait will further ease its COVID-19 restrictions and resume full operations at Kuwait Airport beginning today.

Steadily declining COVID-19 cases have allowed Kuwait to slowly ease restrictions for vaccinated individuals. Today’s easing includes allowing vaccinated individuals to participate in weddings, conferences and other social gatherings, and eliminates mask requirements for diners in restaurants and cafes. For international travelers, the Kuwaiti government will issue visas to individuals who have received two doses of any vaccine approved by Kuwait’s Ministry of Health.

While countries like Russia are re-instating lockdown measures, Kuwait’s early push to near-normalcy will give it first mover advantage in reinvigorating its tourism industry. Historically Kuwait’s tourism industry was an untapped market due to visa restrictions and a lack of supporting infrastructure. But, beginning in 2017 Kuwait pledged $1 billion to promote tourism, with a plan to achieve an annual $445 million income from the industry. COVID-19 stalled this planned expansion, but being an early mover in re-opening to international travelers may provide the momentum the government needs to achieve its goals. Expect Kuwait to start pushing its tourism mega-projects to entice foreign investors, and in the medium-term for Kuwait to become a new central destination for international travelers.

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