Picture for illustrative purposes: Abu Dhabi bus service Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/XPRESS

Abu Dhabi: All public transport means from and to Abu Dhabi International Airport will be temporarily suspended until further notice, the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport, announced on Sunday.

The ITC move comes as part of a series of new precautionary measures being taken to safeguard the health and safety of the public transport users and the wider community in light of the outbreak of Covid-19.

The new measures also include halting intercity bus services between Al Dhafra, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, as well as the bus services between Al Ain and Al Ain International Airport. The measures also include ceasing all free public transport services at Khalifa city and Mussafah in addition to shutting down all air-conditioned bus stations.

The ITC said the new measures are meant to ensure the safety of the entire community and comes in line with its precautionary plan and preventive actions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) and Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) has decided to postpone the activation of the Emirate’s road toll system until 2021. The emirates’s road toll system, which is similar to the Salik system in Dubai, involves imposition of toll on vehicles which pass through four tollgates which have been set up on busy roads in Abu Dhabi. The toll will be automatically deducted when a vehicle passes through the toll gates.

The system was supposed to start functioning from January 2020 and the government had decided to delay this by three months so that all road users could sign up. On March 16, the government announced via Twitter that all vehicles would be exempt from road tolls to the end of 2020.

The road toll charges would come into effect only in early 2021. The four tollgates have been set up on

Sheikh Zayed road, Sheikh Khalifa road, Al Maqtaa bridge and in Mussafah.