Kuwait limits overseas airport arrivals after COVID-19 variant detected

The Gulf state on Tuesday reported its first cases of a more contagious coronavirus variant

  
Repatriated Kuwaitis from Amman, wearing protective face masks and suits, are seen after arriving at the Kuwait Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kuwait City, Kuwait April 21, 2020.

Repatriated Kuwaitis from Amman, wearing protective face masks and suits, are seen after arriving at the Kuwait Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kuwait City, Kuwait April 21, 2020.

REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee

KUWAIT- Kuwait on Sunday reduced the number of daily overseas airline passenger arrivals by 80% to 1,000 to manage the spread of a new coronavirus variant, a source told Reuters.

Kuwaiti newspapers earlier reported the decision, citing unnamed sources. Kuwait's civil aviation authority could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Gulf state on Tuesday reported its first cases of a more contagious coronavirus variant, which the health ministry said had been detected in two women returning from Britain.

State-owned Kuwait Airways on Friday said it would operate fewer services between Jan. 24 and Feb. 6 following instructions from health authorities and the state aviation regulation.

Domestic workers and transit passengers were exempted from the new arrivals limit, it said.

Newspaper Al-Anbaa reported that the health ministry had requested the airport to be closed but that authorities instead decided to limit the number of arrivals.

(Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy in Kuwait; writing by Alexander Cornwell; editing by David Evans) ((ahmed.hagagy@thomsonreuters.com;))

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