(CNN) – “I chose to come to Sanya because the Covid restrictions are more relaxed than (in) Shanghai,” said Li Zifeng, an engineer who lives in China’s largest city.
But he, like many others who flocked to the resort off the coast of southern China, will soon eat his words.
However, holiday sentiment was hit hard last week, when 1,200 people at the resort center in Sanya tested positive for the coronavirus.
For many of these travelers, this has meant not only making frantic calls with family and changing their travel plans, but dealing with a deja vu situation – many people visiting Hainan have been seeking a delay in Shanghai’s strict lockdown measures.
Once Covid cases were detected in Hainan, the action was swift.
The local government closed the city of Sanya, which has a population of about one million people, in addition to 80,000 tourists. Flights departing from the island have been canceled, public transportation has been closed and many tourists are confined to their hotels.
While the excuse to spend more time at the beach could have been a plus, tourists learned that they can still be expected to pay 50% of the room rate at their resorts, which not everyone can afford. This does not include additional expenses such as meals or the cost of lost work.
Under the lockdown, visitors were told they had to stay on the island for an entire week and show evidence of five negative Covid tests before they were allowed to leave.
Although the local government has said it will provide assistance in hotels and meals to all those troubled by the lockdown, some have taken to social media sites such as Weibo to complain that the help has not been enough.
Since China’s borders remain essentially closed, many Chinese have opted for domestic travel since the beginning of the epidemic, and Hainan – with its sun, sand, and duty-free shopping – has been one of the most popular destinations.
CNN’s Nectar Jan contributed to this report.
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