Kuwait locks down two districts, extends public holiday over coronavirus

Kuwaiti police officers man a checkpoint at Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, above, on two heavily populated areas where poorer expatriate workers live. (AFP)
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Updated 07 April 2020

Kuwait locks down two districts, extends public holiday over coronavirus

  • Interior minister urged people to stay indoors even during non-curfew hours

DUBAI: Kuwait placed a full lockdown on two densely-populated districts and extended a public holiday by two weeks until April 26 as precautionary measures against the coronavirus, the cabinet said on Monday.
It also extended its partial curfew by two hours in the morning to run from 5 p.m. until 6 a.m. effective Monday until further notice. The interior minister urged people to stay indoors even during non-curfew hours.
The Gulf Arab country has recorded 665 cases of the new coronavirus and one death so far.
It declared a two-week public holiday from March 12 except for entities providing essential services, which has since been extended.
On Monday, the cabinet said all ministries and government institutions would now remain on holiday until April 26.
The two districts to be put under a two-week “complete isolation” are Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Mahboula, two heavily populated areas where poorer expatriate workers live.
“The decision to isolate (the two area areas) is in order to test everyone in there and treat them so it does not impact other areas,” the state news agency KUNA reported the interior minister as saying.
Countries of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have recorded almost 8,000 cases of infection and 60 deaths.


Emirates, Etihad to resume transit flights after UAE lifts suspension

Updated 4 min 40 sec ago

Emirates, Etihad to resume transit flights after UAE lifts suspension

  • The suspension was lifted late on Wednesday for UAE carriers
  • Foreign citizens remain banned from entering the Gulf Arab state except those holding UAE residency

DUBAI: Emirates and Etihad Airways will resume some transit flights after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) lifted a suspension on services where passengers stop off in the country to change planes, or for refuelling.
Dubai's Emirates, one of the world's biggest long-haul airlines, said on Thursday it would operate transit flights to 29 destinations in Asia, Europe and North America by June 15.
Abu Dhabi's Etihad, meanwhile, said it would carry transit passengers to 20 cities in Europe, Asia and Australia from June 10.
The suspension was lifted late on Wednesday for UAE carriers, more than two months after the Gulf Arab state halted all passenger flights in March as it introduced drastic measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
It has since allowed a few, limited flights, while domestic restrictions such as the closure of shopping centres have been lifted.
Foreign citizens remain banned from entering the Gulf Arab state except those holding UAE residency, who require UAE government approval before returning.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has seen countries around the world shut their borders as they went into lockdown, has decimated the global airline industry as demand was crushed.
Many countries continue to enforce tight entry restrictions, including some countries banning foreign visitors. Airlines around the world have warned it will take years for travel demand to recover.