KUWAIT - Kuwait said Wednesday it would suspend entry for non-citizens for two weeks from Feb. 7 after a rise in coronavirus cases, while neighboring Saudi Arabia suspended entertainment activities and dine-in services at restaurants.
The Kuwait cabinet, in a statement, said first-degree relatives, such as parents and children, and accompanying domestic workers would be exempt from the entry ban, and that all those arriving in the country would have to quarantine.
It ordered the closure of gyms and salons and asked other commercial businesses to cease operating at 8:00 pm, with the exception of pharmacies, supermarkets and other food stores.
Kuwait on Wednesday registered 756 new COVID-19 cases. It had seen daily infections fall below 300 late last year from a peak of more than 1,000 in May.
Other Gulf Arab states have also introduced new restrictions to curb a recent rise in infections in the oil producing region.
Saudi Arabia this week suspended entry to the kingdom from 20 countries, with the exception of Saudi citizens, diplomats, and medical practitioners and their families.
The Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement early Thursday that entertainment activities and events as well as in-restaurant dining would be suspended for 10 days, open to renewal.
The kingdom, the largest among the six Gulf states and the Arab world's biggest economy, on Wednesday recorded 306 new coronavirus cases. It saw daily infections fall from a peak above 4,000 in June to dip below the 100 mark in early January.
The United Arab Emirates, a tourism and trade hub, has seen the region's largest surge with infections tripling in the past month to hit a new peak of 3,977 new cases on Wednesday.
FROM THE ARCHIVES