Kuwait imposed a nationwide 11-hour curfew from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. starting Sunday until further notice, as part of the country’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, state news agency KUNA reported.
“Regrettably non-compliance with the Ministry of Health's instructions to stay indoors forced the government to impose the curfew,” said Anas Khaled Nasser Al-Saleh, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, in a press conference after a cabinet meeting.
He said the Civil Defense Committee would be issuing identification cards for people working in vital sectors so they could move during the curfew.
The period during which work was halted in government departments and private companies, which was scheduled to end on March 26, will be extended for another two weeks, the minister added.
The government had warned last week of not shying away from implementing stricter measures in the fight against the coronavirus if the public did not adhere to the issued guidelines and laws.
The Ministry of Interior calls upon all esteemed citizens and residents to comply with decree No 64/2020 issued by the Ministry of Health, which bans holding or organizing any type of party, including weddings, banquets, receptions and any similar social events pic.twitter.com/M7plxT2Elg— وزارة الداخلية (@Moi_kuw) March 18, 2020
“The option to impose countrywide curfew or extradite some lawless expatriate workers remains to be a final resort in case the health instructions are not heeded,” al-Saleh said in a statement to Kuwait TV last monday.
There are 176 confirmed coronavirus cases in Kuwait as of Saturday.
Punishment for breaching curfew
Anyone caught breaking the coronavirus curfew in Kuwait will be jailed for up to three years and fined 10,000 Kuwaiti dinars ($32,000) in line with new laws, according to the country’s deputy prime minister on Sunday.
The announcement of the penalties for breaching the curfew was made by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas al-Saleh via the country’s KUNA national news agency.
Al-Saleh said that the curfew had been enforced because Kuwaitis had not been complying with health guidelines to avoid large gatherings.
The National Guard has been ordered to assist the Ministry of Interior in enforcing the curfew, he added.