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Thousands stranded in Chinese resort amid COVID lockdown

BEIJING — Some 80,000 tourists are stranded in the southern Chinese resort town 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 stem the spread of COVID-19 in the tropical island city of Hainan. There were 229 confirmed cases on Friday and another 129 on Saturday.

China’s ruling Communist Party is firmly sticking 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 locked down the entire city, China’s largest, for two months, trapping millions and dealing a blow to the national economy.

Railway authorities banned all ticket sales in Sanya while all flights were also canceled on Saturday.

Tourists wishing to leave Sanya must test negative for coronavirus on five PCR tests over seven days, authorities said.

Meanwhile, hotels will offer guests a 50% discount during the lockdown period, a city official said at a press briefing.

The lockdown comes during a peak tourist season in Sanya, famous for its resorts and beaches.

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