Ask a COVID-19 Question
(Updated May 31, 2020)
Flights Departing Kuwait:
- Qatar Airways is operating outbound flights from Kuwait to Doha (Hamad International Airport) with connections to select U.S. cities until June 30. These one-way flights are available for U.S. citizens and U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). For updated information and reservations, please visit Qatar Airways.
- All passengers, including minors, are required to wear a mask and gloves upon arrival at the airport. Neither the airport nor the airline will provide them to passengers. Check-in counters will close 90 minutes prior to departure, even if passengers completed online check-in and are only sending luggage.
- All other flight announcements will be sent to Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) registrants, posted on the Embassy website, and amplified by the Embassy’s social media platforms.
- A nationwide 12-hour curfew from 6:00pm to 6:00am is currently in effect during Phase I of Kuwait’s COVID-19 five-phase response plan. Please read the FAQs below for more information about current restrictions.
- A complete lockdown is in effect on several neighborhoods until further notice: Farwaniya (except for areas between Streets 60, 120, 502, and 129), Khaitan (Blocks 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9), Hawalli, Mahboula, and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. Residents in these areas may leave their house but are not permitted to leave their neighborhood.
- People who are found in violation of the curfew order or lockdown may face imprisonment and fines. Foreign nationals found in violation of the curfew order may also risk deportation.
- 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.
- The Government of Kuwait has reported more than 27,040 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders, with more than 15,440 active cases. On April 9, the World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 transmission status in Kuwait as “clusters of cases.”
- The Ministry of Health is randomly testing 180 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.
- As of March 11, non-Kuwaiti citizens are barred from entering Kuwait through the airport. This does not apply to non-Kuwaiti immediate family members of Kuwaiti citizens who are traveling together with their Kuwaiti family members.
- Since March 14, Kuwait International Airport has been closed until further notice to all inbound commercial flights except for arriving Kuwaiti citizens and their immediate relatives who are traveling with them. Cargo air traffic will continue to be permitted.
- Since April 11, Kuwait International Airport has re-opened only to allow airlines to operate outbound flights.
- Mosques, general services, including maintenance and laundry, home delivery services, restaurant and cafe drive-through and delivery services, company transport vehicles, auto repair shops, and private hospitals and medical clinics have reopened as of May 31.
- All non-emergency government offices are closed throughout the duration of Phase I, which is expected to last for three weeks. Public schools, universities, and colleges are closed through the beginning of August. All public transportation, including taxi services, is suspended, and all public parks, beaches, and public spaces are closed until further notice. All shopping centers and malls are also closed until further notice. Many types of social gatherings, including weddings, receptions, and public and private diwaniyas, are banned. Some stores have restrictions on the age and number of customers who can enter, and cooperative stores are prohibited from selling to non-residents of the area in which the store is located.
- Appointments are available for urgent notarial services only. Contact KuwaitACS@state.gov to schedule an appointment.
- The processing and shipping of new, full-validity passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) have been suspended worldwide until further notice. U.S. citizens with expired U.S. passports who wish to return to the United States, or families with newborn U.S. citizens without passports, should contact KuwaitACS@state.gov to apply for an emergency passport, which can be issued within 24 hours if all requirements are met.
- Due to reduced staffing for social distancing at the Embassy, all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments are canceled until further notice. Official government and emergency visa processing will continue to be available.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Kuwait has closed its airport and land border with Iraq.
- Persons who have been in Kuwait in the previous 14 days will not be permitted to enter or transit Saudi Arabia, irrespective of visa or residency status. Saudi Arabia has restricted land border crossings to Kuwait to commercial traffic only.
- The Ministry of Interior has announced that Article 22 (dependent) and Article 24 (self-employed) visaholders can renew their resident permits online. Residents may also extend their temporary residence visa (Article 14) online for three months for a 3KD fee.
- Tourist visas and residencies of foreign nationals have been automatically extended through August 31, 2020. No action nor payment needs to be taken for the extension to be applied.
- Due to the closure of the Kuwaiti government, Department of Defense contractors are not authorized to enter Kuwait. This restriction is in place until further notice, per the Foreign Clearance Guide.
- Kuwaiti citizens who enter Kuwait from any country will be put in home quarantine for 28 days upon arrival unless they display COVID-19 symptoms in which case they will be put in institutional quarantine.
- 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.
- View Embassy Kuwait’s Most Recent Alerts and Messages
- The government of Kuwait has a website dedicated to information regarding COVID-19 in Kuwait.
- The Kuwait Ministry of Health provides updates in Arabic and English on its Twitter feed.
- The Kuwait Directorate General of Civil Aviation provides updates on COVID-19 related flight restrictions in Arabic and English on its Twitter feed.
- The Kuwait Ministry of Health has a hotline if people have questions related to COVID-19: +965-2497-0967. There is also a hotline number if you are in Kuwait: 151
- The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to rely on information from credible government news sources.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How long is Phase I of Kuwait’s five-phase COVID-19 response plan expected to last? Each phase is expected to last for three weeks. However, the Government of Kuwait has indicated that phases may last shorter or longer depending on local health conditions.
- I live in a neighborhood under lockdown. Can I leave my house? Yes, you may leave your house during the non-curfew hours of 6:00am to 6:00pm but you are not be able to leave your neighborhood unless you have requested a permit online to visit a hospital at curfew.paci.gov.kw.
- Do I still need an appointment to go grocery shopping? As we understand it online appointments are still available and highly recommended for shopping at grocery stores and cooperative societies during the partial curfew. You may sign up for an appointment with your civil ID or tourist visa online at moci.shop. Customers may only book an appointment once every six days. Visit our website for instructions on how to book an appointment. The use of face masks is mandatory in all public spaces, including grocery stores. A few grocery stores, including Oncost, City Centre, and Sultan Center, have also started providing home delivery services online. Additionally, you may contact your nearest cooperative society or neighborhood baqala for delivery service. Food delivery applications, including Deliveroo, Talabat, and Carriage, have also resumed services.
- I live in one of the neighborhoods under lockdown. Am I able to order home delivery services? You will not be able to order home delivery services while your neighborhood is under lockdown. You may sign up for an appointment at a grocery store or cooperative society within your neighborhood. The government has also announced it will provide food, healthcare services, and gas cylinders for individuals in the lockdown neighborhoods. The Embassy will provide further information once it is announced.
- 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. U.S. citizens seeking other medical treatment must request a permit online to visit hospitals at curfew.paci.gov.kw. Over-the-counter drugs from pharmacies may be ordered online or via phone for home delivery.
- I have a flight scheduled to depart during the curfew. Are flights operating? Flights will continue to operate through June 30. However, as the situation may change with little or no notice, passengers on flights departing during the duration of the curfew are recommended to contact their airlines for confirmation of their flight status.
- Can I drive to the airport during the curfew, even if my neighborhood is under lockdown? Passengers traveling directly to the airport to depart Kuwait will be permitted to travel with their passport and a copy of their booking and/or ticket showing departure. They should allow additional time for possible stops by relevant authorities and should be wearing face masks while outside their homes.
- Can a family member or friend drive me to the airport? It is our understanding that one person can take passenger(s) directly to the airport as long as they have a copy of the ticket of the traveler. The driver should allow additional time for possible stops by relevant authorities and should be wearing a face mask while outside the home.
- Can I still depart Kuwait on an expired tourist visa? Tourist visas and residencies have been automatically extended through August 31, 2020. This extension is in addition to the extension that was granted to individuals in Kuwait whose visitor visas expired between March 1 and May 30. No action nor payment needs to be taken for the extension to be applied.
- Can you book a flight for me? The U.S. Embassy cannot assist with contacting airlines, arranging onward travel, or negotiating the use of funds from any pre-existing itineraries.
- Can I book my luggage or pets all the way through? You must contact your airline to review rules and regulations regarding pets and luggage.
- Will I be required to self-quarantine when I arrive in the United States? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all travelers returning from abroad to stay home for 14 days from the time they return home from international travel.
- COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- CDC page on COVID-19
- International Travel Kuwait Country Information
- Kuwait Travel Advisory page
- To track global confirmed cases of COVID-19 in real time, see Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE