Thousands stranded in China resort city amid COVID lockdown

About 80,000 tourists have been stranded in the southern Chinese resort town of Sanya after authorities declared it a COVID-19 hotspot and imposed a lockdown

BEIJING — About 80,000 tourists have been stranded in the southern Chinese resort of Sanya after authorities declared it a COVID-19 hotspot and imposed a lockdown.

The restrictions came into effect on Saturday morning as authorities sought to curb 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.

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

Railway authorities have 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 for seven days, authorities said.

Meanwhile, hotels are offering guests a 50% discount during the lockdown period, a city official said at a press conference.

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

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