Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE on Thursday announced a sudden overnight lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, even as the rest of the country remains open for tourism.
The state-run WAM news agency announced late Thursday the lockdown would begin Monday and last each day from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. It comes just ahead of the long Eid al-Adha holidays in the UAE, which begin Monday as well.
Abu Dhabi’s Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee euphemistically described the lockdown as being part of the National Sterilization Program.
The UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms, used the same term during lockdowns in 2020 amid the start of the pandemic.
Abu Dhabi has struck a hard line after Dubai reopened for tourism a year ago, requiring PCR tests for those coming over the border.
Dubai, like other emirates, has remained open to spur tourism and business even as daily reported new coronavirus cases to remain around 1,500 a day despite a mass vaccination program.