Shanghai Disneyland has temporarily closed as part of China’s no-holds-barred campaign to eliminate the virus.
The amusement park will be closed at least through Nov. 2, with no guarantee of reopening after that, although some hotels within the resort will remain open. The news of the temporary closure on Sunday followed an announcement earlier that day that the park was suspending entries and requiring visitors to undergo Covid testing as they left.
The park did not specify the reason for the announcements, except to say that it had received notice from other provinces and cities and was cooperating with their epidemiological investigations. China has raced since mid-October to contain a fresh coronavirus outbreak tied to domestic tourists, which has so far infected more than 370 people across at least 11 provinces and regions. On Sunday, the National Health Commission reported 48 new locally transmitted cases in the previous 24 hours, though none in Shanghai.
Guests leaving the resort would need to be tested again 24 hours later, the park’s announcement said, and would then need to self-monitor for 12 days.
Images on social media showed large groups of workers in full personal protective equipment circulating throughout the park on Sunday, and long lines of visitors waiting to leave.
A spokesman for the National Health Commission had said on Saturday that the latest outbreak in China was “still developing rapidly” and that the situation was “severe and complicated.” The newest round of infections, though small compared to outbreaks in many other countries, is relatively large for China, which has officially reported just about 97,000 cases since the start of the pandemic.
On the Chinese social media platform Weibo, where the news of the suspension was trending, some commenters on Sunday who said they had already bought tickets expressed disappointment. But many comments expressed support for the measure and concern about photos of crowds at the park during the Halloween weekend. China’s commitment to a “zero Covid” policy — which has made it an outlier globally — has widespread support domestically, as it has allowed relatively restriction-free travel within the country.
Still, some experts have warned that the economic toll of repeated lockdowns and other strict prevention measures may eventually become too heavy. Throughout the pandemic, domestic tourism and consumption have suffered when new outbreaks were reported, as people sought to avoid becoming trapped in high-risk areas.
Claire Fu contributed research.
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