Epidemic attracts 80,000 tourists – Vigor Times


All flights and trains from the tropical Chinese resort of Sanya have been canceled in response to an outbreak of COVID-19, stranding more than 80,000 tourists. A lockdown came into effect on Saturday after 263 cases were confirmed, the BBC reports. Officials said tourists to Sanya, as well as anyone who has been to the city since July 23, cannot leave the province. The lockdown hits at the height of tourist season in the island province of Hainan, dubbed “China’s Hawaii” because of its beaches and rainforests, as well as its luxury hotels, according to CNN.

Visitors will need to register five negative coronavirus tests over seven days to be allowed out. Supermarkets and pharmacies are open, according to AFP, but entertainment venues are closed and public transport is closed. The measures come into effect as part of China’s zero COVID policy, designed to stop the spread of the disease, which includes border restrictions and mass testing. Officials pledged efforts to help stranded visitors, such as streamlining rebooking of travel arrangements and cutting hotel room prices by 50%.

Sanya also recorded 173 asymptomatic cases reported on Saturday. Officials said the highly transmissible omicron BA.5.1.3 subvariant is present in the outbreak, which they suspect arrived on the island through contact with foreign seafood vendors in the port of Yazhou fishing. The outbreak is largest in China, the only major global economy with a zero COVID policy in effect. Danzhou, a city in the same province, imposed a partial lockdown on Saturday. (Shanghai was locked down again last month.)

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