Oct 31 (Reuters) – The Disney resort in Shanghai abruptly halted operations on Monday to comply with COVID-19 prevention measures, with all visitors told at the time of the announcement to remain in the park until they test negative return to the virus.
The resort said at 11:39 a.m. local time (03:39 GMT) that it would close the main theme park and surrounding areas including its shopping street immediately until further notice to comply with virus restrictions.
The Shanghai government said on its official WeChat account that the park restricts people from entering or exiting and that all visitors inside the site would have to await the results of their tests before leaving the site.
Anyone entering the park since 10/27 would need to be tested for COVID-19 three times in three days, it said.
The theme park continued to operate rides for visitors stuck in the park during Monday’s closure, social media users reported.
A spokesman for Shanghai Disney Resort said the resort is still operating “limited offers” and is following measures in line with guidelines from Chinese health authorities.
The resort announced on Saturday that it had started operations with one reduced workforce to comply with the COVID measures.
Shanghai reported 10 locally transmitted cases for October 10. 30, all of whom were asymptomatic.
The closure marks the latest disruption for Shanghai Disney Resort, which was closed for over three months during Shanghai’s lockdown earlier this year.
The park was also closed for two days in November last year, and more than 30,000 visitors were stuck inside after authorities ordered them all to be tested in a contact-tracing exercise.
Videos circulating on China’s Weibo platform on Monday showed people rushing to the park’s already locked gates.
Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the videos and Shanghai Disney Resort did not respond when asked how many visitors were inside.
Local authorities across China have continued to take abrupt and extreme measures to prevent any possibility of virus transmission once cases emerge, in line with the country’s ultra-strict zero-tolerance approach to COVID-19.
The Universal Resort in the state capital of Beijing reopened on Monday after a five-day closure also prompted by virus measures.
Reporting by Albee Zhang and Brenda Goh; Edited by Kim Coghill, Sam Holmes, Kirsten Donovan
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