September 29, 2022

They survived lockdown in Shanghai, only to be trapped again in Hainan

2 min read

(CNN) — Li Zhifeng, an engineer living in China’s largest city, said, “I chose to come to Sanya because the Covid restrictions (are) more relaxed than in Shanghai.

But he, like many others who flocked to the resort island from the south China coast, would soon eat up his words.

Hainan province is often called China is equal to Hawaii. Or the Maldives — think beautiful stretches of beach, elegant hotels with world-class amenities and the feeling that you’ve escaped the stresses of everyday life.

However, the holiday atmosphere was affected last week, when 1,200 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the resort center of Sanya.

For many of these travelers, that meant not only calling family and changing their travel plans, but also dealing with a case of déjà vu — many arriving in Hainan from the tight lockdown in Shanghai. Wanted to be saved.

Once the number of Covid cases in Hainan was detected, the action intensified.

The local government closed the city of Sanya, which has about 1 million residents, to all but 80,000 tourists. Flights to and from the island were cancelled, public transport was shut down and many tourists were confined to their hotels.

While the excuse to spend some more time at the beach could have been a silver lining, tourists learned that they would still be expected to pay 50% of the room rate at their resorts, which not everyone could afford. And that didn’t include extra costs like food or the cost of missing work.

Under the lockdown, visitors were told they had to stay on the island for a full week and show proof of five negative Covid tests before being allowed to leave.

Despite the local government saying it would provide hotel and food assistance to all those affected by the lockdown, some people complained on social media sites like Weibo that the help was not enough.

As China’s borders remain largely closed, many Chinese have opted for domestic travel since the start of the pandemic, and Hainan – with its sun, sand and duty-free shopping – is among the most popular destinations. There has been one.

CNN’s Nectar Gan contributed reporting.

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