Once again Kuwait is entering back into a curfew from Sunday. There were lots of rumours going around already of the possibility of a curfew/lockdown coming into the country however it was still a shock to some degree. Many have worked tirelessly campaigning for this decision not to happen to protect peoples livelihoods, businesses etc here. However, the government ultimately decided to go ahead with announcing a curfew yesterday.
One thing I have learnt to get used to here during this pandemic is the fact that decisions are made rather quickly with very little notice. There is no real time for any kind of mental preparation for these restrictions to come into force, we kind of just get told there and then this is what is happening in a matter of days.
The sad thing is the fact that there is very little support out there for people who are struggling during these times. I’m unaware of any support lines for people to get in touch with if they are finding things difficult or unable to cope. This is something that should have definitely been brought into place however the culture here is not the same as it is in perhaps other countries. There aren’t many resources available when it comes to mental health and support in Kuwait. It is very much still seen as a taboo subject to many. This idea that everyone just has to get on and deal with it very much exists here.
So where was Kuwait already at before this curfew was announced?
For a while Kuwait very much felt like normal life to a degree. You could enjoy yourselves at the beach, go to the malls, eat out and do all the usual things we would do for fun. Yet slowly things started to change, as the cases were getting higher things started to shut down. For a period of time the airport had stopped all flight operations to and from the country. Although now it has opened back up again, only Kuwaitis who are stuck abroad are allowed to return to the country, everyone else is banned till further notice. Tourist visas have been banned for a very long time now since the start of the pandemic.
With the announcement of cancelled flights, ban on expats returning etc, the news came that salons and gyms were too close. This then followed to restaurants and cafes closing at 8pm and large gatherings banned. This didn’t remain for long as it was announced that dine in is no longer allowed and only takeaways and deliveries will be accepted. This was a huge blow as in Kuwait you are limited with what you can do anyway so to not be able to do all the usual things we would do anymore is tough and frustrating many.
New announcement – Curfew!
The Kuwaiti Government announced yesterday that Kuwait was going into a partial lockdown starting this Sunday. I will give you a break it down to what the following restrictions include :
- Partial curfew declared between 5pm to 5am. Therefore after 5pm no-one is allowed to go outside of their homes, even for a walk! The only acceptation is if you are going to pray at a mosque. This will be reviewed in a month if the curfew will continue or not.
- Here is the strange one – Salons and Health Clubs will be able to open. This makes no sense to me as the majority of the population in Kuwait will be stuck indoors Sunday to Thursday because most of us work till 5pm onwards therefore everyone will be going to the Health Clubs etc on the weekend as that is the only available free time for most to go. So not sure about the logical thinking behind this.
- Maximum 2 people in a taxi. Must wear a mask at all times (this rule was already in place)
- Closure of all sitting areas in public areas. There is still some confusion whether this is the case for 24 hours or just during curfew times. Again doesn’t make much sense as open areas are less likely for the virus to be transmitted as opposed to indoor areas.
- Closure of all public parks and gardens.
- Takeout and delivery will only operate between 5am – 5pm.
- The continuing ban of foreigners entering into Kuwait has been extended.
- Banks will operate until 2pm.
There was news of the supermarkets closing here too during curfew but still no confirmation on that. Overall it might seem like we still have some freedom and normality in life but that isn’t really the case. Considering I like many work till 5pm Sunday to Thursday that means I will be stuck indoors 24/7 during the week with only being able to go outside on Friday and Saturday before curfew times.
I don’t really see where this is going to be honest as it’s basically a copycat from last year at the start of the pandemic. This is how it all started and then it just got worse and worse with full lockdown, unable to leave homes, fenced off areas with the army in control of bringing food distribution etc. Definitely not an experience anyone would like to go through again.
Here’s hoping it will just last a month and the curfew will then end. Hope everyone is keeping safe and well. Feel free to comment below where your country is at in terms of restrictions etc? How normal does life feel for you right now?