Abu Dhabi Police brought in a permit system allowing residents to enter and leave the emirate on Tuesday.
The mechanism - for essential travel only - was put in place as a one-week ban on travel came into effect.
For the next seven days, residents of Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain and Al Dhafra can travel within their cities but not leave them – and cannot go to other emirates.
The travel ban does not prevent people from leaving their homes – and the permit is not needed for shopping, going to work, leisure activities or otherwise.
Police said the permits – which can be applied for here – were for exceptional circumstances. Essential workers such as medical staff, patients with chronic diseases with medical appointments and drivers transporting goods were among those who are eligible.
Brig Salem Al Dhaheri, deputy head of the Traffic and Patrols Department, said a dozen checkpoints were set up on the borders to enforce the restrictions from Tuesday.
"Twelve checkpoints have been placed at the exits and entrances of the cities," he told Abu Dhabi TV.
"Today the checkpoints will be activated, and we ask residents to co-operate.
"People who work in Abu Dhabi should stay in Abu Dhabi; this is only for one week.
"And as Abu Dhabi Police we will be strict in implementing this decision and we ask God to remove the virus."
Google Maps recorded long tailbacks at Ghantoot, near the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border, and on the E66, the Dubai to Al Ain road.
On Monday, Sheikh Abdulla Al Hamed, chairman of Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, said travel had to be restricted to ensure the continuation of emirate's testing drive.
"With the expansion of the project to include high-density areas, and to ensure that the largest possible number of the emirate's population are reached as quickly as possible, we had to ban movement between cities and reduce contact as much as possible," he said.