January 5, 2022 tourism

Banquet, wedding halls see booking cancellations


KUWAIT: Amid a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country, celebrations for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries have been called off from Jan 9 till Feb 28, as per an order by the government. The decision triggered cancellations of numerous events and activities scheduled for January and February, including programs related to Hala February. “This is for our safety and we need to follow the rules,” said Melody, marketing officer at a four-star hotel in Kuwait City. “I have several bookings for January and February. These are all paid bookings; some of them were cancelled, but some called to tell us to wait and hold the money until Kuwait reallows functions and activities. We cannot blame the government for this decision, although it will again have a huge impact on our sales revenues,” she said. The Cabinet announced on Monday that all indoor social gatherings will be suspended from Jan 9, 2022 until Feb 28, 2022 amid a rise in coronavirus cases in the country. The Cabinet also decided that from yesterday, all passengers arriving to Kuwait must provide a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to arrival. “At our hotel, we have several reservations, but no cancellations yet. I have functions organized by some Filipino organizations and some religious gatherings. Half the amount was paid upon reservation with the other half to be paid one day before the event. Some reservations were made by phone without payment, so those are on the waitlist,” Abdulwatiq, a banquet manager, told Kuwait Times. Some who had planned to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries in January and February also decided to cancel. “I was planning to grandly celebrate my 50th birthday on January 13, but what to do? Let’s follow the rules – you know the consequences if you do not. I will try to enjoy my 50th with my closest family and friends at home instead,” Marissa said. Kuwait has urged its citizens to leave several European countries including Britain, France and Germany because of a surge in cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant. In a series of statements overnight Sunday, the state also warned Kuwaitis, often big spenders abroad, to avoid travelling to these countries. The foreign ministry said they should “delay their trips” generally and, in particular, to France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.

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