(Adds health ministry advisory)
DUBAI, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Kuwait has banned until further notice commercial flights to 31 countries it regards as high risk due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said on Saturday.
The countries include India, Pakistan, Egypt, the Philippines, Lebanon and Sri Lanka, which all have large numbers of expatriates in Kuwait. The list also includes China, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Iraq.
The ban was announced the same day that Kuwait began a partial resumption of commercial flights. The authorities have said Kuwait International Airport would run at about 30% capacity from Saturday, gradually increasing in coming months.
The health ministry also advised against all non-essential travel at the present time, government spokesman Tariq al-Muzaram said on Twitter.
Kuwait, which has recorded nearly 67,000 coronavirus cases and more than 400 deaths, began a five-phase plan at the start of June to gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions. A partial curfew remains in place. (Reporting by Yousef Saba Additional reporting by Alaa Swilam Editing by Jason Neely, Edmund Blair and Frances Kerry)
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