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Friday, September 30, 2022

80,000 tourists stuck on Chinese island due to lockdown

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More than 80,000 tourists have been detained in the Chinese city of Sanya on Hainan Island since last Saturday. They are stranded there because the local authorities have introduced a lockdown due to the increasing number of corona infections.

On Friday, 263 positive corona tests were reported in the city. A day later, a lockdown was introduced: only essential facilities such as supermarkets and pharmacies are still open.

Since the weekend, there has been no public transport to or from Sanya and no more planes are allowed to land or depart from the airport. Leaving the city on foot is also prohibited and so most tourists are locked up in their holiday resort. To be allowed to go home, they must show five negative corona tests in a week.

Hainan is known as the ‘Chinese Hawaii’, mainly because of the good surfing conditions. It is a popular holiday destination, where it is currently high season. Hotels are being asked to give their guests a discount as long as they cannot leave due to the lockdown.

China still has the strictest corona policy in the world and maintains a ‘zero Covid’ policy. Cities regularly go into lockdown, although it is no longer called that. Instead, there is talk of a ‘relative standstill’ or a ‘quiet period’.

That happened in April in Shanghai: the city only reopened two months later. On Twitter, several people from such big cities write that they left because of the corona outbreaks, only to be stuck in Sanya again.

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