Kuwait starts to prevent unvaccinated from entering shopping malls to contain Covid-19

Kuwait City, Oct. 18, 2020 (Xinhua) — People wearing face masks work at a shopping mall in Farwaniya Governorate, Kuwait, Oct. 17, 2020. Kuwait reported 739 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 115,483 and the death toll to 694 in the country, the Health Ministry said in a statement. (Photo by Asad /Xinhua/IANS)

Kuwait City, June 28 (IANS) Kuwait started on Sunday to implement a government’s decision to allow only vaccinated citizens and residents to visit shopping malls, salons, gyms, and restaurants in the country.

Malls in the Arab country witnessed on Sunday morning armed forces at their entrances who will help the implementation of the decision to prevent unvaccinated people from entering, except for pregnant women, those under 16 years, and those with a medical excuse, the Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the Ministry of Interior, about 400 of their men will be deployed in malls to help implement the health measures.

Amid strict procedures, the major malls began to receive visitors.

Shahd Al-Awadi, a customer in a mall, told Xinhua that vaccination certificates are being checked by the security of the mall, where visitors are obliged to show “Immune” and “Kuwait Mobile ID” applications.

“I came to the mall to enjoy breakfast, away from the crowds, where my friend called me and told me that the atmosphere in the mall is quieter and we should enjoy it as much as we can,” Al-Awadi said.

Al-Awadi affirmed that she totally supports the decision, explaining that she received vaccine to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect the children and family especially the elderly ones, and it is her right to get privileges.

“It is illogical that we may be exposed to the risk of infection and the spread of the disease because of the few who refrain from vaccination,” she said.

Iman Hammadi, a saleswoman in a cosmetics store inside the mall, said that visitors are less than usual, expressing her fear that the situation will continue for a longer period and thus it will lead to the decline in sales revenues.

“If the situation continues, our target will be failing. The target depends on buyers. Fewer buyers, fewer sales, then less money for the company and salespeople,” Iman said sadly.

A citizen Nada Al-Waleed said that the municipality men at the gates check apps at people’s mobiles one by one. She hopes that the entry process will speed up and facilitate the visitors.

Another citizen Ali Al-Nabhan felt the need to go to the mall on the day, just out of curiosity.

“I feel that I want to experience the privilege of being vaccinated, and curiosity led me to see the mall without the usual crowds,” he said.

“I think that the decisions of the Ministry of Health are the right things to do. Several other countries have made similar decisions, and we did not see objections from their people,” he said.

“Rather, they supported the decisions of their governments, which are interested in making the situation safe for them and their families,” he added.

However, citizen Talal Al-Mutawa, who is afraid of vaccination and decided to wait more than a year to be vaccinated, said that what is happening in the malls now deserves to be questioned.

“The malls are almost empty which means many people are afraid to be vaccinated,” he said. “The government’s decisions are supposed to motivate others and give them solutions, not to restrict people.”

On June 17, the Kuwaiti government decided to allow access to most public venues only for fully vaccinated people starting from June 27, in an effort to contain the spread of the Delta variant.

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