Expats from Philippines returning to Kuwait to face new protocol starting March 8

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CNN Philippines (March 4) – Starting March 8, Kuwait will require expatriates who visited the Philippines and nine other countries to present proof that they are free of the novel coronavirus infection or COVID-19, according to a state authority.

Kuwait announced the new travel restrictions for the Philippines, India, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Syria, Lebanon on Thursday through a Twitter post by the country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Kuwait has previously imposed the same protocol for Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Foreign workers must be tested for the virus and present medical certificates showing they yielded a negative result before being allowed to enter the Gulf state, the official said.

These certificates must come from health centers approved by Kuwaiti embassies or health authorities in countries covered by the rule.

Should they fail to comply with the new procedure, the expatriates will be sent back to their country of origin “without the state bearing any financial costs” via the same air carrier. The airline company will also be fined for violating Kuwait’s order.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti citizens are exempted from the protocol as they will be tested for the new virus at the Kuwait International Airport.

Kuwaiti authorities have already suspended flights to and from Singapore, Japan, Iraq, South Korea, Thailand and Italy as the global threat of the COVID-19 persists.

Expats who have visited Iraq, South Korea, Thailand and Italy in the preceding two weeks will not be allowed to enter Kuwait. Non-Kuwaitis who visited Singapore and Japan over the past two weeks will also be denied entry.

Kuwait has reported 56 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday morning.