Thousands locked in Shanghai Disneyland over Covid fears
Shanghai's Disney Resort plunged into lockdown on Monday trapping visitors inside with no one allowed to leave until returning a negative Covid test.
The extreme measures are in response to China's zero-covid strategy. It comes after Shanghai reported 10 locally transmitted cases on Saturday — all of which reportedly had no symptoms.
At 11.39 am local time, the resort announced it would be shutting down the park immediately, including surrounding areas, until further notice to comply with virus directives.
China's controversial zero-Covid policy has already seen millions of people repeatedly locked down, sometimes in unusual places.
In August, Ikea customers attempted to flee the store in Shanghai after a positive Covid case was detected, forcing hundred into quarantine.
Weeks later, thousands of tourists were trapped on a highway for days when Chinese provinces suddenly blocked access from Tibet after a sudden spike in Covid cases.
Disney Resort is the latest to experience lockdowns with people barred from entering or exiting.
Extreme Covid testing
The Shanghai government said on its official WeChat account all visitors inside the site would need to await the results of their tests before they could leave.
Anyone who had visited the park since October 27 would need to test for Covid-19 three times in three days, it said.
The theme park continued to operate rides for visitors stuck in the park during the closure on Monday, social media users reported.
A Shanghai Disney Resort spokesperson said the resort was still operating "limited offerings" and they were following measures in line with guidelines from Chinese health authorities.
The resort had on Saturday said that it had started operating with a reduced workforce to comply with COVID measures.
Wild scenes at Disneyland
Videos circulating on China's Weibo platform on Monday showed people rushing to the park's gates, which were already locked.
American media personality Mike Sington said on Twitter "thousands are trapped inside Disney and are not allowed to exit."
"The Chinese government’s strict zero-COVID policy goes into effect again," he said.
Another video shows workers donning hazmat suits and masks doing testing as fireworks continue to go off in the background.
The closure marks the latest disruption for the Shanghai Disney Resort, which was shut for over three months during Shanghai's lockdown earlier this year.
The park was also closed for two days in November last year with more than 30,000 visitors stuck inside, after authorities ordered all of them to be tested in a contact tracing exercise.
Shanghai Disney shuts over Covid,visitors unable to leave https://t.co/sRzznUmBqO 31/10/2022 🤡🤡 pic.twitter.com/jPK0J7KeXE
— NiCoLeEliSei (@NiCoLeEliSei1) October 31, 2022
Shanghai Disney Resort did not respond when asked how many visitors were inside, Reuters reported.
Local authorities across China have continued to impose abrupt and extreme measures to cut any possibility of virus transmission once cases arise, in line with the country's ultra-strict zero-tolerance approach towards COVID-19.
The Universal Resort in the country's capital of Beijing reopened on Monday after a five-day closure, which was also prompted by virus measures.
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