Engineer Li Zefeng, who resides in Shanghai, the largest city in China, stated that he made the decision to move to Sanya since the Covid limitations there are less stringent.
But he would soon regret his words, just like the other visitors who went to the island resort off the southern Chinese coast.
The province of Hainan is frequently referred to as China’s answer to Hawaii or the Maldives; picture stunning lengths of beachfront, chic hotels with top-notch services, and a sense of escape from the stresses of everyday life.
The festive spirit, however, was dampened last week when 1,200 people in Sanya, a popular resort city, tested positive for the coronavirus.
Around 80,000 domestic visitors were imprisoned in paradise as a result of China’s rigorous “zero-Covid” policy.
For many of these travellers, that meant not only frantically calling loved ones and altering their travel arrangements, but also coping with déjà vu since many of the visitors to Hainan were looking for a break from the stringent lockdowns in Shanghai.
Action was taken right away once the Covid cases in Hainan were discovered.
Along with the 80,000 visitors, the local authorities also evacuated the city of Sanya, which has a population of roughly one million. Public transit was suspended, leaving many tourists stranded in their hotels, while flights departing the island were cancelled.
Tourists realised that they would still be required to pay 50% of the accommodation rate at their resorts, which not everyone could afford. This may have been seen as a silver lining because it would have given them a reason to spend more time on the beach. And that didn’t account for additional costs like food or lost wages.
Visitors were informed that, in order to leave the island during the lockdown, they would need to stay for a full week and provide documentation of five negative Covid tests.
Even while the local administration promised to help individuals inconvenienced by the lockdown with lodging and meals, some people complained on social media platforms like Weibo that the assistance wasn’t enough.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, many Chinese have chosen to travel within China due to the country’s largely closed borders. Hainan has become one of the most popular domestic tourism destinations due to its sun, beach, and duty-free shopping.
In 2021, Hainan reportedly welcomed more than 81 million visitors, according to state media.