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Coronavirus

Kuwait to Bar Unvaccinated from Traveling Abroad

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Kuwait’s government is barring unvaccinated residents from traveling abroad starting later this month, the latest attempt to tame the spiraling coronavirus outbreak in the Gulf Arab sheikhdom.

The Cabinet decision, to take effect May 22, sparked instant anger and confusion, coming just after health authorities announced that global vaccine supply shortages would force them to delay distribution of second vaccine doses. Those who received the first Pfizer-BioNtech dose must wait six weeks for their second, and Oxford-AstraZeneca recipients must wait 3-4 months.

The government said those unable to get the shot for any reason would be exempt from the new travel ban. Already, authorities have banned the entry of expatriates into the Gulf state, stranding many foreign workers and their families abroad.

Kuwait is grappling with a surge in virus cases despite its vaccination campaign and tough restrictions, including a prolonged nightly curfew. The country has recorded over 277,800 infections and 1,590 deaths.

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