Hainan, home to China’s offshore duty free shopping sector, has been hit by a serious COVID-19 outbreak. As of 6am on August 8, all downtown duty free stores in Haikou and Sanya are closed until further notice.
Together with our colleagues on the ground in Hainan at Hainan Hinews Media Co, retailers on the island and our associates at Jessica’s Secret, we will bring you the latest developments as they happen.
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From 0:00 to 24:00 on Sunday 7 August, there were 259 newly confirmed cases and 245 asymptomatic infections in Hainan Province, according to official statistics. 186 were recorded in Sanya City (including 30 asymptomatic transferred confirmed cases) and four in Haikou City.
In the latest outbreak, a total of 982 local confirmed cases were reported. The data was collected between midnight on 1 August to 7 August, Of the total cases, 801 were identified in Sanya and just eight in Haikou City.
The local government has introduced strict temporary measures from 6:00 a.m. August 6, with city-wide restrictions on movement of people and the suspension of urban public transport. According the Hainan Hinews Media Company (The Moodie Davitt Report’s strategic partner on the island), a press conference of the COVID-19 Prevention and Control Headquarters of Hainan Province will be held at 4p.m. this afternoon.
Various local reports (CCTV, Hainan Daily and XInmen Evening News) reported that the outbreak reveals “obvious clustering” and that it has hit the peak summer tourism season hard.
The reports quoted Sanya Municipal Government Deputy Mayor He Shigang who said that most of the infected people are local residents. The majority of stranded tourists are in Sanya Bay and Yalong Bay, prompting the introduction of daily nucleic acid tests in tourist-concentrated areas to prevent further spread.
Mayor He Shigang said that Haitang Bay and Yalong Bay are relatively independent units, so checkpoints have been set up at the intersection between them. Mainland tourists can still arrive and check into their hotels provided they have a valid nucleic acid test certificate.
He continued, “we must do our best to ensure that there are no epidemics or cases in these places, and places with more tourists must be strictly controlled to prevent them from being affected by the spread of the epidemic.”
Anyone leaving Sanya City must have two negative nucleic acid certificates within 48 hours to prevent the virus from spreading elsewhere, He Shigang noted.
(Source: The Moodie Davitt Report )