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Park visitors stranded by Covid fear shuts down Shanghai Disneyland

Visiting an amusement park in China now comes with a high risk of involuntary confinement.

An estimated 20,000 visitors were trapped inside Shanghai Disneyland on Monday after city authorities ramped up anti-COVID measures.

In November last year, about 30,000 people were trapped in the park for two days when the city launched a contact tracing exercise.

Shanghai authorities ordered the park and its adjacent retail complex to close shortly before midday on Monday. It came after eight positive cases were detected in the city on Sunday, all of which were asymptomatic. The park said Saturday that it will cut staff in order to comply with the latest COVID regulations.

People inside the park on Monday will have to test negative before they are allowed to leave. And anyone who has been to the park since October 27, 2022, will have to get a COVID test daily for three days. Some attractions for those people trapped inside the park have been preserved.

China continues to implement a strict form of disease control, called Zero-COVID. This includes strict quarantine measures, mass testing, lockdowns and movement restrictions controlled by the use of an app, all aimed at breaking transmission chains. Many in China have complained about the random shutdowns announced by the app and the requirements for frequent testing.

Shanghai, China’s largest city and commercial capital, was largely shut down for three months earlier this year due to the discovery of a new wave of cases.

Shanghai Disneyland, which opened in the summer of 2016, is a joint venture between a company owned by city authorities and The Walt Disney Company.

The newest Universal Resort near Beijing was allowed to reopen on Monday. It was closed for five days as of last Wednesday after an outbreak occurred nearby.

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