Gulf nations impose more restrictions to fight virus spread

The countries announced limits on public gatherings overnight and Kuwait plans to bar foreigners from entering for two weeks.
A medical staff member wearing protective mask and suit works in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for COVID-19 patients at a hospital in Le Mans, France, January 18, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe(REUTERS)
A medical staff member wearing protective mask and suit works in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for COVID-19 patients at a hospital in Le Mans, France, January 18, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe(REUTERS)
Published on Feb 04, 2021 12:11 PM IST
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Bloomberg |

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar announced more restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus, joining other Gulf countries battling a fresh wave of infections.

The countries announced limits on public gatherings overnight and Kuwait plans to bar foreigners from entering for two weeks. The surge in infections is most acute in the United Arab Emirates, where it’s already forced Dubai to reintroduce curbs on hotels and air travel.

Saudi Arabia:

  • Suspends all events and parties, including weddings, corporate meetings in halls, hotels, camps for 30 days
  • Maximum number of people in gatherings not to exceed 20 for 10 days
  • Suspends all entertainment activities for 10 days
  • Suspends dining services in restaurants and cafes for 10 days; limited to takeout deliveries only
  • Link to Saudi Press Agency report
  • Saudi Arabia has already suspended entry of foreigners to the kingdom from 20 countries. Those included in the ban are travelers from the UAE, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Germany and the US.

Kuwait:

  • Imposes two-week ban on entry of foreigners from Feb. 7
  • Closes all commercial facilities, except pharmacies, medical and food supplying outlets, from 8pm to 5am for a month
  • Closes all health clubs, resorts and salons
  • Suspends events in halls and tents
  • Link to Kuwait News Agency report

Qatar:

  • Maximum five people allowed to gather indoors and up to 15 people outdoors during visits, funerals and gatherings
  • Weddings can only be held at home: 10 people allowed indoors and 20 people in open spaces
  • Restaurants to operate at 15% capacity indoors. All restaurants can operate at 50% capacity outdoors
  • Indoor swimming pools and water parks will be shut, while outdoor ones can operate at 30% capacity

While cases have been rising, inoculation programs have also been picking up. The UAE has one of the highest rates of vaccinations per 100 people and has administered almost 3.7 million shots in a population of about 10 million. Saudi Arabia trails with 1.29 doses per 100 people.

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Monday, January 17, 2022