Abu Dhabi oil town Ruwais to halt visitor access for three weeks to control Covid-19

Residents are allowed to leave but must prove they are virus-free to return

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Visitors will be prevented from entering Abu Dhabi’s oil town of Ruwais under new measures to control the spread of Covid-19.

The rules, which came into effect on Sunday, will remain in place for three weeks, subject to review.

Residents are allowed to leave the town, which is 250 kilometres west of the capital, but must provide proof of a negative test to return.

The rule also applies to people who have been vaccinated, according to a message shared on the town’s official government website.

“To ensure we continue to safeguard our very special city and in co-ordination with the UAE government authorities, new precautionary measures will be implemented to proactively protect our community,” a notice on the page said.

“Effective Sunday, 14 February at 12pm, the following measures will apply for the next three weeks (subject to review).”

During the period, “residents can leave Ruwais but can only re-enter within 48 hours of receiving a negative Covid-19 test result”.

The 48-hour period begins on receipt of the SMS message, it said.

“This applies to both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people.

“Security checks will be conducted at designated checkpoints around the city to ensure that only those with valid test results can re-enter Ruwais.”

All residents who leave or return to the town should do so only via Gates 5 and 6, the notice said, while Adnoc employees should use Gate 1 to access the industrial area.

The Covid-19 testing programme and vaccination services for the Ruwais community will continue, it said.

The town, once a sleepy fishing village, is home to the Emirates’ largest oil refinery.

About 25,000 people live there, many of whom work in the town’s sprawling complex of oil refineries and petrochemical factories in the western region of Al Dhafra.

In 2018, plans were unveiled to build at least 3,000 homes, a centre at which to access government services, a souq, a cricket field, running and cycling tracks, and health clinics.