Sanya Covid Lockdown: Thousands of Tourists Landed in ‘China’s Hawaii’

Public transport has been suspended and movement of people in the city has been restricted since early Saturday morning, officials said. Tourists must stay for seven days and clear five Covid-19 tests before leaving.

Deputy mayor He Shigang said on Friday about 80,000 tourists stayed in the city. All those currently in Sanya and those who have been in the city since July 23 are not allowed to leave Hainan province after 6pm on Saturday, provincial officials said.

The restrictions come at the height of the summer tourist season for the state, a popular destination often referred to as China’s Hawaii for its sandy beaches, lush forests and high-end hotels.

Over 80% of flights leaving Sanya were canceled on Saturday, according to data from flight information company Variflight. All trains departing from Sanya have been canceled, state broadcaster CCTV said on Saturday.

Sanya authorities have acknowledged the plight of tourists and promised during Saturday’s press conference to do their best to solve the problems that arise, including fixing the booking tours and offering discounted hotels for stranded tourists in Sanya.

The city is divided into high and medium zones, with restrictions that vary depending on the level of risk, according to local officials. The entire city is considered under “static management” – a term used to describe the placement of concrete works.

The city, located on the southern tip of Hainan Island, recorded 827 cases between August 1 and midnight on Saturday, with 240 confirmed cases and 173 asymptomatic patients in the Saturday, as announced by public health authorities on Sunday morning. China has reported asymptomatic cases.

Saturday’s number was the highest in China, which reported a total of 736 confirmed and asymptomatic local cases for the day.

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Authorities say they have identified the mutated subvariant Omicron BA.5.1.3, which they believe was introduced to the island through contact with overseas seafood vendors. of Sanya’s Yazhou fishing port.

Hainan provincial authorities on Saturday announced widespread nucleic acid testing for its 10 millionth population, as cases were reported elsewhere on the island.

Another city in Hainan, Danzhou, announced partial lockdowns for its 1 million residents on Saturday evening, according to official news, while Qionghai city officials announced the Sunday in a mode of action, closing most of the non-essential businesses and ordering half of it. A million citizens will stay at home unless necessary, to be implemented that morning, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The new measures come as China’s economy struggles under its “zero-Covid” policy, which aims to curb the spread of the disease through lockdowns, massive testing and hard border restrictions.

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