80,000 tourists are trapped in coronavirus lockdown on ‘China’s Hawaii’ after outbreak on tropical island as country’s brutal zero-Covid policy continues

  • Tropical island Hainan sees school summer holiday lockdown after tourists mass
  • Temporary shutdown of Haikou follows ongoing, indefinite lockdown of Sanya
  • Holidaymakers have been banished to their hotels for a week and cannot leave 
  • 80,000 stranded tourists must test negative five times in seven days to go home

A Chinese beach resort has gone into lockdown after recording less than 500 new cases, stranding 80,000 holidaymakers in their hotels for a week.

Tropical island province Hainan is booming with Chinese families eager to take advantage of the school summer holidays – but they’re now stuck amid the shutdown.

Beach resort Sanya has been locked down indefinitely since Saturday, with nearby Haikou city closed for business from 7am to 8pm today.

Those wanting to depart must test negative five times over seven days.

Four other cities and four counties in Hainan also started lockdowns of two days or more on Sunday and Monday. 

A closed beach in locked down Sanya is pictured on Saturday as 80,000 tourists are stranded in their hotels for a week. They must test negative five times in seven days to be let free

Crowds of Hainan locals queue at a nucleic acid testing site amid Sanya’s lockdown measures

A delivery driver peers over an improvised Covid barrier to make a delivery on Saturday

More than 470 new cases were recorded in the province on Sunday, of which 245 did not show symptoms.

China reported more than 760 new daily cases nationally, the National Health Commission said Monday.

The Chinese Communist Party’s hardline zero-Covid policy has not only meant that thousands are now suffering mental health issues. 

It has also prolonged global supply chain issues, effectively shutting Shanghai, the world’s biggest port – and costing the global economy billions.

China has credited its approach with keeping hospitalisation and death rates lower than in other countries that have opened up thanks to high vaccination rates and more effective treatments.

Hong Kong announced today it would reduce a mandatory hotel quarantine for overseas arrivals to three days from the current one week from Friday.

Tens of millions in China returned to lockdown last month despite only 300 infections nationally, with emergency shutdowns affecting Shanghai and Beijing.

The fresh cases and draconian response deepened fears that China may be set to return to the kinds of strict lockdowns from earlier this year, where tens of millions of people were locked down for weeks on end.

A careful beachgoer wears a mask as she scrolls on her phone at Houhai beach (July image)

A woman holds a surf board on Houhai beach on July 23, just days before the new lockdown

In Shanghai, some residents on social media Tuesday reported receiving government food rations – a throwback to the months-long confinement in the spring.

‘Let me tell you a scary story, Putuo district is sending out vegetables again,’ read one resident’s viral WeChat post.

‘I’m so nervous, the epidemic has destroyed my youth. I’m about to go crazy,’ posted another Shanghai-based Weibo user.

Shanghai’s lockdown prompted unusual protests both in person and online against the government’s harsh enforcement, which left many residents struggling to access food and medical services and sent thousands to quarantine centers.

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