Hainan Sanya, which is a beautiful tourist destination, is located on the South China Sea coast. Known as China’s Hawaii, Sanya is famous for its sandy beaches, tropical forests, and high-end hotels. During the busiest summer travel season, Sanya is stepping up Covid-19 controls after a spike in cases made the city the latest viral hotspot in the country.
According to Reuters, following the announcement of COVID lockdown measures imposed by the authorities, about 80,000 tourists are stranded in the popular resort city of Sanya.
As Chinese media Economic News reported, from 6:00 a.m. on August 6, the whole city of Sanya would implement temporary global static management, requiring people to stay at home. In addition to the suspension of public transportation, people’s movements inside the city were also being restricted.
Authorities did not announce the specific time when the measures might be lifted. But stranded tourists need to have five negative COVID-19 tests and stay for seven days before leaving the city.
Per CNN News, the deputy mayor, He Shigang, stated on Friday that there are about 80,000 tourists stranded in the city.
According to the provincial government, all those currently staying in Sanya and visitors who have been there since July 23 are not permitted to leave Hainan province after 6 p.m. local time on Saturday.
Micah Hostetter, a business consultant based in Shanghai who experienced a months-long lockdown in Shanghai earlier this year, said, “We don’t know how long we’re going to be here, we hope it’s not that long.”
Officials stated that the virus of this round of COVID flareup in Sanya is the BA.5.1.3 omicron subvariant, which is for the first time detected in mainland China.
According to data provider Variflight, on Saturday, over 80% of flights to and from Sanya were canceled. Meanwhile, CCTV reported that all trains leaving Sanya were also suspended. [Video 0:00- 0:09]
A video posted on the Internet shows that several people gathered at an airport in Sanya, shouting ‘We want to go home.’ [Video 0:19- 0:36]