COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Last updated: 10/13/2020

Country-Specific Information:

  • The Government of Kuwait has reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
  • The Ministry of Health is randomly testing citizens and residents daily as part of its measures to curb COVID-19. Detailed instructions will be sent to those selected for a COVID swab via text message. The testing is not mandatory.
  • Government offices and private businesses with more than 50 percent staff, banking, financial, and construction sectors, retail stores, shopping malls, public parks, restaurant takeout and dine-in services, hotels, resorts, gyms, salons, and tailors are open with physical distancing measures.
  • Public schools, universities, and colleges are planning for virtual learning throughout the fall. Many types of social gatherings, including weddings, receptions, desert camping, and public and private diwaniyas, are banned.
  • The Government of Kuwait has announced that it will not allow the repatriation of remains of foreign nationals who die of COVID-19. Instead, foreign nationals will be buried here in Kuwait. For more information, see here.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes.
    • U.S. citizens may enter Kuwait only if in possession of a valid visa or residency.
    • Visitor visas are not being issued upon arrival at the airport. Visas are also not available electronically in advance.
    • U.S. citizens without valid visas wishing to visit Kuwait will need to request visas or other approval in advance of travel from a Kuwaiti embassy or consulate.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) required for entry? Yes.
    • Arriving passengers must obtain a negative PCR test result administered by a health clinic within 96 hours of boarding their flight to Kuwait and bring the results in English with them. No translation is required. Children under the age of six (6) do not require a PCR test.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes.
    • Passengers arriving must register with the Shlonik application prior to boarding the aircraft and must home quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Kuwait.
    • A random PCR test will be conducted on ten percent of passengers of each flight upon arrival.
  • Kuwait International Airport is operating in the first phase (no more than 30% capacity) of its three-phase re-opening, and there are multiple outbound flights from Kuwait with connections to the United States.
  • Passengers traveling to the United States do not require a PCR test to depart Kuwait but are encouraged to check PCR requirements for airlines and any transit destinations. All passengers must register with the Kuwait Mosafer application before departing.
  • Non-Kuwaiti passengers traveling from the following countries are prohibited from entering Kuwait until further notice: Afghanistan, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China and Hong Kong, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Italy, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nepal, North Macedonia, Panama, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Spain, Syria, and Yemen. This also applies to any individuals who have been present in these countries in the two weeks prior to their travel to Kuwait. Individuals traveling from these countries may elect to quarantine in a country not listed above for two weeks before returning to Kuwait.
  • Kuwait has closed its land border with Iraq.
  • The Ministry of Interior has announced that residents with Article 22 (dependent) and Article 24 (self-employed) permits can renew their resident permits online.
  • Tourist visas and residencies of foreign nationals were automatically extended through November 30, 2020. This extension applies to individuals in Kuwait whose visitor visas were set to expire on or before August 31. No action nor payment is necessary for the extension to be applied.
  • The Government of Kuwait has extended the amount of time foreign nationals with valid Kuwaiti residencies can remain outside of Kuwait to one year.
  • Department of Defense contractors without valid visas or residencies are not authorized to enter Kuwait. This restriction is in place until further notice, per the Foreign Clearance Guide.
  • All passengers, including minors, are required to wear a mask and gloves upon arrival at the airport and must arrive at least four hours in advance of their scheduled flight.

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? No.
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No.

 Quarantine Information:

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes.
    • All passengers arriving in Kuwait from any country must home quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

 COVID-19 Testing:

  • U.S. citizens may obtain a COVID-19 PCR test from any government-accredited medical facility a maximum of 96 hours before their flight departure time. Below is a list of facilities that are offering such tests:
    • Jarallah German Specialized Clinic
    • Dhaman Centre
    • The Kuwait German Laboratory
    • The New Kuwait German Laboratory

 Transportation Options:

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes.
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes.
    • Taxis are operating and buses have implemented social distancing measures.

 Fines for Non-Compliance:

  • The use of face masks is mandatory in all public spaces. Individuals who are found in violation of the law will be imprisoned for up to three months and/or fined up to 5,000 KD.

 Consular Operations:

  • Appointments for routine American Citizen Services, including notarials, passports, and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) are available on our website.
  • Voters are recommended to drop off their completed ballots at the Embassy by October 14. Please visit our website for more information on voting.
  • Due to reduced staffing for social distancing at the Embassy, all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments remain temporarily suspended. Only official government, emergency, and student visas are currently being processed.

 Local Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • I am traveling to Kuwait. Can I obtain a tourist visa upon arrival?

Visas are not being issued upon arrival at the airport. Visas are also not available electronically in advance, as they have been in the past. It is the Embassy’s understanding that U.S. citizens with valid residencies and visas may enter Kuwait.

  • How can I obtain a visa in advance to visit Kuwait?

U.S. citizens without valid visas wishing to visit Kuwait will need to request visas or other approval in advance of travel from a Kuwaiti embassy or consulate.

  • Can I still depart Kuwait on an expired tourist visa?

Tourist visas and residencies of foreign nationals were automatically extended through November 30, 2020. This extension applies to individuals in Kuwait whose visitor visas were set to expire on or before August 31.

  • What should I do if I have a medical emergency?

If you have a medical emergency and are experiencing non-COVID symptoms, please call 112. Please call the Ministry of Health at 151 or 2497-0967 if you are experiencing a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

  • Do I need to obtain a PCR health certificate if I am departing Kuwait?

Passengers departing Kuwait must obtain a health certificate issued either by a medical lab approved by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health or at the airport medical laboratory only if the country they are departing to requires a COVID-19 test. The United States does not require a COVID-19 test for arriving passengers. Please check with your airline and any transit destinations for specific PCR requirements.

  • I am transiting through Kuwait. Do I need to obtain a PCR health certificate?

Passengers transiting through Kuwait must ensure that a PCR test is completed at least 96 hours in advance of boarding their flight to Kuwait. Children under the age of six (6) do not require a PCR test.

  • Will I be required to self-quarantine when I arrive in the United States?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends travelers who have participated in higher risk activities, including visiting a country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice, to stay home for 14 days from the time they return from international travel. A list of higher risk activities may be found here. It is also recommended you check your state’s requirements for any additional guidance.