Categories
Coronavirus Travel

NO MORE PCR TESTS!

Finally! Yesterday the government announced that if you’re fully vaccinated you no longer need to get a PCR test when coming back into Kuwait from travel. I’m flying out to Istanbul next where they also don’t require a PCR test on arrival so this is very cool news. It’s going to feel like normal travel pre-covid except for the masks!

Categories
Coronavirus

Register to get your COVID-19 booster shot

Back in November, I posted about how easy it was to get the booster shot but since then things have changed considerably. A lot more people are now getting their boosters and so it’s a lot busier and you also now have to register for an appointment.

If you haven’t registered for your booster dose yet, here is a link to the signup form.

Also on a side note, masks are back again. This past week everywhere I went more people were wearing masks than those who weren’t. What’s interesting about it this time around is that the impression I’m getting is people are choosing to wear the mask out of social responsibility, and not because someone is telling them to do so. Nobody wants to go back into lockdown or life with curfews again that’s for sure.

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Coronavirus News

Get Boosted!

Yesterday the Council of Ministers announced that anyone who doesn’t get their booster shot before 9 months from their second dose will be considered incompletely vaccinated. I’m guessing that your immune app will no longer show as green and you will no longer be allowed into some places.

If you’re eligible for a booster shot please go get one since I don’t want to go back to curfews and lock downs. The process is super easy!

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Coronavirus Information

Go get your COVID-19 booster shot

Yesterday I went to the fairgrounds in Mishref to get my booster shot. I got my second dose back in April so it’s been over 6 months which qualifies me for a booster dose. I was worried because it was a weekend and with all the stories regarding a new variant that the place would be popping but instead, it was totally empty. Like maybe just a couple of other people getting their shots but that’s about it and I was there around noon which wasn’t even early.

If it’s been over 6 months since your last Pfizer or AstraZeneca shot then you don’t even need to apply for an appointment online, you can just walk in. They’re giving boosters for both vaccines and they also ask you if you want an influenza shot which I didn’t get, but I liked that they have more than one item on the menu.

If you’re interested in getting a booster they’re open daily except for Fridays. Saturdays they open from 8AM to 4PM but on weekdays they open from 8AM to 7:30PM. According to the nurse if you come in around 7PM they might have run out of vaccines for the day so the earlier you get there the better. The nurse told me I might get a fever at night and I did, ended up hitting me in the middle of the night, just shivering chills which wasn’t too bad.

There currently is a Perfume Exhibition taking place at the fairgrounds so parking might be an issue. Here is the location on Google Maps.

Categories
Coronavirus Travel

Covid Precautions on my Trip

I’ve been to Netherlands, Belgium, and France so far on this trip and Covid precautions have been fairly different in those three places, even though they’re right next to each other.

Netherlands (Amsterdam)
As soon as I left the airport I no longer came across a place that required masks other than the Apple Store. The Apple Store handed out masks at the entrance and required you to sanitize your hands as well but everywhere else it was mask-free. Restaurants did require you to be vaccinated and I just showed them my Immune app status.

Belgium (Bruges)
No masks were required anywhere and none of the restaurants I ate at asked me for my vaccine status.

France (Normandy)
I’m spending a couple of days in some coastal towns in the North and the situation here has been very similar to Kuwait. You need to wear a mask when indoors and restaurants require you to be vaccinated. For restaurants, the Immune app can be used with no issues.

When driving across borders I did not require a PCR test and there was no border patrol anyway to check. I honestly couldn’t even tell I entered a new country, not unless I used Google Maps to check.

So far this normal life no mask thing has been really cool and weird especially when we’ve been required to wear them in Kuwait for over a year now.

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Coronavirus Travel

How long did it take for your vaccine to be approved?

One of our company employees has been stuck in the US for months due to the restriction on expats coming into Kuwait and while there she got her vaccination. When the airports reopened she uploaded her vaccination paperwork to the MOH website to be validated but it still hasn’t gotten approved even though it’s been nearly a month.

She ended up missing her flight back to Kuwait so instead, she applied for a Saudi visa online since we have an office there, and in contrast, it took just 3 minutes to get her vaccination validated and visa issued!

Based on the responses under my previous post, I know a lot of you are still waiting for your vaccinations to get approved, but for those of you who already got it approved, how long did you have to wait??

Categories
Coronavirus

Still Waiting to Get Vaccinated?

Over the weekend the government announced that starting June 27th, only those who’ve been vaccinated will be able to dine at restaurants, visit large malls, go to the gym or visit the hair salon. Obviously, the reason behind this decision is to push people to get vaccinated, but many expat residents have signed up to get vaccinated since December and have yet to get an appointment. I think so at least because I still get comments on older posts of people complaining they registered in December or January and have still not gotten an appointment.

Seems pretty unfair so here is a quick poll to get a rough idea of how long people have been waiting for their appointment:

[poll id=”17″]

Categories
Coronavirus

Validate Your Vaccination Taken Outside of Kuwait

The MOH has started registering and validating vaccinations that were taken outside Kuwait. This is mostly targeted towards Kuwaiti students who are studying abroad as well as residents who are currently stuck outside Kuwait.

Ministry of Health, State of Kuwait is accepting the Vaccination Documents issued abroad to be registered and validated by Public Health Department, so that it will enable all those vaccinated abroad (with Covid 19 Vaccines approved by Ministry of Health, Kuwait) upon approval, Register in Immune APP and enjoy the same benefits /privileges as those who are vaccinated within the state of Kuwait.

If you’re outside Kuwait and vaccinated, validate your vaccination by clicking here

Thanks John

Categories
Coronavirus Information

Photos of the Sheikh Jaber Causeway Vaccination Centre

Construction of the Sheikh Jaber Causeway Vaccination Centre is done and is now set to open soon. The drive-thru vaccination centre will be able to handle 5,000 cars a day and was built by KIPIC and KOC for the Ministry of Health.

KIPIC have posted some pictures of the centre on their instagram account and you can check them out here.

I’ve asked for more information like when they’re planning to open it and once I get the info I’ll update this post.

Update: Here is some more info, the center can handle 4,000-5,000 people depending on the working hours that will be set by the government. There are 20 stations and each can handle around 8 cars at once. It took only one month to set up. No launch date was shared with me.

Categories
Coronavirus Sports

What we did during curfew

This year’s curfew was completely different from last year’s. I think mostly because there was less fear since we’ve all been dealing with Covid for the past year and are more informed on it, while last year the whole thing was still a mystery.

One thing I noticed this year was how every area had different activities going on like at one point I think Surra had a carnival during curfew. In Salmiya once the cars disappeared everyone came to the old souk where I live and turned the streets to mini badminton courts. I didn’t post about it on my social media or on the blog at that time because I didn’t want to bring it any unwanted attention, but it was so much fun. There were even mini badminton courts drawn in chalk all over the streets. It was kinda like a block party.

What did your neighborhood do during curfew?

Categories
Coronavirus

Chaos at the Boulevard and Fanar Mall Vaccination Drive

It’s hard to tell from these videos if the vaccination drives were only for mall employees or open to the public but whatever the criteria was, it looks like it was total chaos.

There was also a video that showed a police officer aggressively shoving and hitting people waiting in line to get vaccinated. After the video went viral the MOI quickly released a statement saying they’ve summoned the involved officer for questioning and that it was an individual act and in no way reflects the police department’s mission which is to serve and protect the community.

Has anyone else noticed how active and reactionary the MOI Instagram account has become? Whenever there is an incident that goes viral they’re always on top of it. From all the government accounts I think the MOI and Traffic Department are my two favorites.

Categories
Coronavirus

Registered for the Vaccine in December and Still not Vaccinated?

A lot of people who registered in December have been leaving comments that they still haven’t gotten their vaccine appointment. One reader just left the comment below that might be helpful and worth giving a shot:

All expats that I know who registered in December did not get vaccinated. I think there is a problem with the December data.

151 will not help you, go to the counter in Mishrif and tell them that you registered in December and still did not get vaccinated. They will redo your registration and with in 72 hours you will get an SMS.

If you try this and it works, let us know!

Categories
Coronavirus

Mall Employees Getting Vaccinated

Here’s a feel-good story. Yesterday around 10,000 employees of The Avenues got vaccinated against COVID-19. This was part of the second phase of the government’s field vaccination campaign, the first phase included cooperative societies, mosques, the banking sector, food manufacturers, cinemas, and others. 34,758 employees received vaccination during the first phase.

According to the MOH, they launched the second phase of the campaign in Avenues since it was the largest mall but in the upcoming days, the vaccine will be provided for workers in other commercial complexes around the country.

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Apps Coronavirus Information

Vaccination Data Now Part of Civil ID

Over the weekend PACI updated the Kuwait Mobile ID app and added vaccination data to it. This means the vaccination data is now part of your Civil ID information alongside other important info like nationality, birth of date, and sponsor. Clicking on the vaccine status pops up a window revealing details on the first and second dose.

If you’re anti-vax this isn’t good news because it’s starting to look like vaccination will eventually be required for things like residency renewal, traveling, and maybe even accessing gyms or other indoor public spaces. So if you’ve been holding out on signing up for the vaccine you’re just delaying the inevitable.

Categories
Coronavirus Information

Everything you need to know about the reopening of cinemas

As you are probably aware by now, movie theaters will reopen again during eid after having been closed since the very start of the pandemic. Here is some information I was able to obtain regarding the opening and what the safety measures will be taken:

  • Only vaccinated customers will be allowed into the cinemas. Your vaccination status will be verified using the Immune App. Only people with a green color bar behind their name will be allowed entry.

  • Cinemas will operate with 50% occupancy

  • 2m social distancing will be enforced

  • Cinemas will be promoting online ticket and food sales to reduce the lines

  • Cinemagoers will have their temperature checked at the entrance

Some more info:

  • If you vaccinated outside of Kuwait, you will have the chance to upload your vaccination to the Immune App. This update will not be available for Eid.

  • After taking your first vaccine shot the Immune App will not display a green color bar behind your name until 5 weeks have passed.

All the above has still not been finalized so there might be adjustments made.