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Kuwait halts flights, shuts borders – PCR test must

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 21, (Agencies): Based on the decision issued by the Council of Ministers all airlines operating from and to the Kuwait International Airport have been suspended from 11:00 pm today, Monday, Dec 21, 2020 until Friday, Jan 1, 2021, says a circular issued by the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The circular said this decision has been taken by the Government of Kuwait to limit the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. The circular says the decision will be reviewed periodically but depends on the virus update. However, the cargo flights are exempted from the government decision.

Kuwait’s Ministry of Health called on all citizens and expatriates coming lately from the European Union (EU), and United Kingdom (UK), between Dec 11 to 21 to conduct a PCR test in the fifth and 10th day from arrival date at Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The addressed audience should bring along documents indicating their arrival at the mentioned dates, it added.

Lethal
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the strain is “out of control” around London and southeastern England, though experts have said it is not clear whether it is more lethal, and they expressed confidence that the vaccines now being rolled out would still be effective against it. There were rising hopes that France would soon allow traffic to flow again, if truck drivers took coronavirus tests on arrival.

Meanwhile, the European Union’s drug regulatory agency recommended use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine, setting the stage for the first COVID-19 shots across the 27-nation bloc. The vaccine is already being dispensed in Britain and the U.S. The EU was expected to give final approval to the recommendation within hours.

Authorities in Germany and several other European countries said they hope to begin vaccinating people on Dec. 27. While the French ban does not prevent trucks from heading for Britain, the move stoked worries about shortages at a time of year when Britain produces very little of its food and relies heavily on produce delivered from Europe by truck. In a sign of the government’s concern, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called a meeting of the government’s emergency committee.

The ban caused chaos in Kent, the southeastern English county that is home to many of Britain’s English Channel ports. The government urged against travel to the county, but trucks snaked along the shoulders of the main highways to the ports anyway. Around 10,000 trucks pass through Britain’s port of Dover every day, accounting for about 20% of the country’s trade in goods.

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