Trapped in Disneyland: China locks thousands of people inside theme park to test for Covid

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Disneyland employees gather to wait for their Covid-19 tests at the Shanghai Disney Resort (AP)
Disneyland employees gather to wait for their Covid-19 tests at the Shanghai Disney Resort (AP)

Chinese authorities on Sunday locked down the Disneyland Park in Shanghai with thousands of visitors inside, in order to conduct mass testing for the coronavirus infection.

The amusement park suddenly announced in the evening that it would no longer accept new visitors for the day as it was cooperating with an epidemiological investigation from another province.

Healthcare workers in hazmat suits surrounded the area to test every visitor for Covid-19 before they could leave the park.

At least 33,863 people had to be tested after it was discovered that a woman who visited the park from nearby Hangzhou province on Saturday had contracted the illness.

The visitors were ferried home in 220 special buses. They were found to be negative on Monday but would still have to isolate themselves at home for two days and get re-tested in two weeks.

Disneyland, in a statement on Monday on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, said that the park will remain shut on Monday and Tuesday.

Staff at the theme park also tested negative.

The park’s sudden lockdown underscored China’s seriousness about enforcing its “zero-tolerance” policy ahead of the Winter Olympics scheduled for February next year.

One visitor, who gave her family name as Chen, told Associated Press that when authorities made the announcement for everyone to get tested, “no one complained and everyone behaved really well”.

China on Monday recorded 92 new Covid-19 infections, the highest since mid-September.

Last week, two high-speed Beijing-bound trains were reportedly stopped midway when two crew members were found to be close contacts of people infected with the virus. Hundreds of passengers were deboarded and taken to quarantine.

Earlier, a county in eastern China’s Jiangxi province turned all its traffic lights to red after one case was detected. In Inner Mongolia’s Ejin Banner, at least 10,000 tourists were trapped after the city imposed a lockdown last month. Trapped tourists were sent to their home cities only last week.

Chinese citizens in Beijing also complained last week that they were unable to return to the Chinese capital after making a trip out of town.

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