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Thursday , February 9 2023

Proposal to lift ban on 34 countries – PCR test 3 times for arrivals

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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 21: To breathe in life in aviation sector, hotels, transportation, restaurants and SMEs this morning board members along with the chairman of Kuwait Airways and Jazeera airways meet with  Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Basil Al-Sabah to discuss proposals made by the two companies to restart air traffic and to receive passengers directly to Kuwait instead of spending their quarantine period of 14 days in countries which are not listed in banned list.The proposal also stated about taking all precautions which includes PCR test and quarantine for a period of one week. 

The plan is to accept passengers from 34 banned countries directly without spending 14 days in a non banned country, which will be classified into two categories ie. low risk and high risk to adopt special mechanisms to deal with each category. 

The high risk countries will conduct PCR test for expats 3 times ie. First in the country of departure, second upon arrival at Kuwait Airport and last after completing the quarantine period (home or institutional) all at travelers expense.

Low-risk countries will be examined only twice, the first in the country of departure and the other upon arrival at the airport.

Among the proposal reduction of quarantine period to period of one week since as per medical report indicated the symptoms appear on the patient within 5 days, hence there is no need for quarantine of two weeks. 

Screening procedures
Regarding the procedures for examining expats, the source pointed out that the plan stipulates that the swab test will be conducted at the airport and sent to the approved laboratories where as traveler will be sent to home or institutional quarantine.

The mechanism of quarantine is not yet clear as still study needs to be done with health authorities. The state will not bear any expenses related to the travelers whether it is a PCR test or staying in quarantine or any financial expenses.

Laboratories read for testing
The accredited laboratories are able to conduct more than 5,000 tests per day. In the first phase 5,000 passengers will be departing and 5,000 passengers will be arriving. If the plan is approved by the  Ministry of Health as per the health regulations and requirements it will be implemented by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.  

Quarantine period
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kuwait Airways, Captain Ali Al-Dukhan stated that the Kuwait Airways and Jazeera Airways had submitted a plan to conduct the required checks for those arriving on their flights in the building designated for them. He explained that the application of this procedure will allow passengers to reach Kuwait  directly without the need to spend a quarantine period in a transit countries as the quarantine period will be in Kuwait with the required re-testing before the end of the quarantine period.

Inspection tour
Al-Dukhan, accompanied by some members of the company’s board of directors, inspected Terminal 4, to check on the progress of work in the building and to facilitate the passengers and to study the application and implementation of the proposed procedures in line with the procedures approved by the health authorities, and to see the services provided to passengers and how to meet their requirements.

Strict adherence to procedures
Kuwait  pays great attention to precautionary measures through the commitment of its employees to wear masks, physical distancing, provide sterilizers, and put health instructions for passengers at the airport and airplanes, in order to avoid infection from Corona virus, in addition to communicating with customers on the means of communication and sterilizing aircraft, machinery and buses to transport passengers and luggage after each trip.

Features of the plan
The proposed plan is based on classifying the countries from which arrivals will be allowed into two categories, namely:
High risk countries
– Arrivals PCR 3 times ( Check in the country of departure, Check-up upon arrival at the airport and Examination after completing the home or institutional quarantine period)

Low-risk countries
Those coming from them will only be checked twice: (First in the country of departure. The second upon arrival at Kuwait Airport.)

All PCR tests will be done on passenger’s expense.


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