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Kuwaiti citizens will be allowed to travel abroad only if they have received the Covid-19 vaccine, the government said on Monday.

The decision, which will go into effect on May 22, will exempt age groups not eligible to be vaccinated.

Non-Kuwaitis will continue to be banned from entering the country, the Centre for Government Communication said.

The announcement came shortly after the Ministry of Health said it will delay the second dose of the BioNtech/Pfizer vaccine to up to six weeks, except for those who are above 60 and people with underlying conditions.

The second dose of AstraZeneca will also be postponed for three to four months after the first dose.

The extension is due to global competition to obtain vaccines and delays in supplies, the ministry said.

Kuwait’s announcement comes one day after its Gulf neighbour, Saudi Arabia, said it will lift a travel ban on citizens starting May 17 as planned, but will also only allow those who have been vaccinated or were infected with coronavirus in the past six months to travel abroad, as well as children below 18 years.

Upon returning to the kingdom, travellers will quarantine for seven days.

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