China resort town enters COVID-19 lockdown, stranding thousands
China resort town enters COVID-19 lockdown, stranding thousands

China resort town enters COVID-19 lockdown, stranding thousands

SANYA, CHINA – AUGUST 06: An empty street is seen as Sanya imposes city-wide static control to curb new COVID-19 outbreak on August 6, 2022 in Sanya, Hainan Province, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

About 80,000 tourists are stranded in the southern Chinese seaside resort of Sanya after authorities declared it a COVID-19 hot spot and imposed a lockdown.

The restrictions came into force on Saturday morning as authorities tried to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the city on the tropical island of Hainan. There were 229 confirmed cases on Friday and another 129 on Saturday.

China’s ruling Communist Party is steadfastly holding on to a “zero COVID” approach that is increasingly at odds with the rest of the world. A recent outbreak in Shanghai spread so widely that authorities locked down the entire city, China’s largest, for two months, trapping millions of people and dealing a blow to the national economy.

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Railway authorities banned all ticket sales in Sanya, while all flights were also canceled on Saturday.

Tourists wishing to leave Sanya must test negative for the coronavirus on five PCR tests over seven days, authorities said.

Meanwhile, hotels will offer guests a 50% discount during the shutdown period, a city official said during a news briefing.

The shutdown comes during a high season for tourism in Sanya, which is famous for its resorts and beaches.

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