Sanya has imposed ‘static management’ as of 6am Saturday, August 6, placing restrictions on people going out and shutting its public transport system to try and stem a COVID-19 outbreak.

The move comes during the city’s peak tourist season, and some 80,000 tourists are reported to be affected.

Sanya, a popular tourist destination on the southern island province of Hainan, started imposing lockdown measures in some places on Thursday, and reported 263 COVID cases for Friday.

Authorities said they had detected the Omicron subvariant BA.5.1.3, describing the COVID situation as “very severe.” It has not said when the measures might be lifted.

While in theory people are still allowed to leave Sanya as long as they have two negative PCR tests taken within 48 hours, there are numerous reports of flights being cancelled. And not just from Sanya, but also from Haikou in the north of Hainan.

Many tourists stranded have been posting about frantically trying to arrange transfer flights in order to return to their home cities.

Meanwhile, more and more cities and provinces are now imposing quarantine measures on those returning from Sanya, with the measures even being imposed retroactively – placing people who returned from the city in late July into lockdown.

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[Cover image via NIAID-RML]

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