Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi to extend border closure by week

Travel will now be allowed between Abu Dhabi's regions, but not outside

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Restrictions on entering Abu Dhabi have been extended by a week.

Travel is now allowed between the emirate's regions, but crossing into the emirate from Dubai is still not allowed without a permit.

Officials confirmed it was still possible for Abu Dhabi residents to leave the emirate and that the transport of goods between the capital and Dubai continued as normal.

Initial restrictions introduced this month also required Abu Dhabi residents to obtain a permit to leave the emirate, but that decision was rescinded.

“Following promising indicators in the number of cases found in Covid-19 tests, Abu Dhabi residents may move freely between the emirate’s regions, starting from 6am on Tuesday, June 23," the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said.

“Restrictions on entering Abu Dhabi are being extended by another week, with exemptions for all types of goods and mail and permit holders.

“Exiting the emirate will continue without a permit.”

The travel restrictions have been in force since June 2, when Abu Dhabi said it would impose a travel ban on entering and leaving the emirate to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Initially residents were only allowed to travel within Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain or Al Dhafra, but not between them. That restriction has been lifted.

On Monday, Abu Dhabi residents welcomed the move, which will allow them to travel for holidays elsewhere in the emirate.

Some sought information on social media about hotels that would be open in Al Ain.

They included Tabby Nawaz, from the UK, who lives in Abu Dhabi with her husband and two children.

Ms Nawaz said her family holidayed in Ajman for four days during the Eid break and were keen to book another break in the UAE.

“It was so nice and they managed everything really well,” she said.

“We were a little bit fearful but it was fantastic. You wore masks inside, they checked your temperature at all points.

"There were only 20 people allowed in the pool at any time and even the kids got in. Since then they have been speaking about staying in another hotel for the weekend.

Travel restrictions inside Abu Dhabi eased

Travel restrictions inside Abu Dhabi eased

"I don't want to go to a beach, because it's too hot. I just want to go to a swimming pool. Just to get the kids out for an hour to splash would improve the quality of our lives."

On Monday, the Integrated Transport Centre of the Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi announced the extension of bus services in Abu Dhabi and Al Dhafra from Friday.

Some bus routes were altered, some services became more frequent and others were added.

The centre said the changes were the result of a study and aimed to offer wider service coverage and better connectivity.

"ITC will continue to undertake the necessary precautionary measures to avoid the spread of coronavirus," it said.

"All public buses in the emirate of Abu Dhabi will undergo disinfection after every bus trip and extensive sterilising at night when they return to bus depots.

"All contact surfaces such as ticket vending machines will be disinfected on a regular basis to ensure the safety of our passengers."


Gallery: Coronavirus in the UAE