The Shanghai Disney Resort was closed down without notice on Monday as the Chinese authorities pushed ahead with the harsh Covid-19 policies, trapping hundreds of visitors in the park and the vicinity.
Disney said it was "temporarily closing (Shanghai Disneyland) with immediate effect ... in accordance with disease control requirements". A video posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo showed a security guard telling visitors: "please return and take a tour in the park. The park's gates are all closed temporarily, and you cannot leave now."
Not Allowed to Leave
Reports said the visitors are not allowed to leave until they test negative for Covid-19. However, there have been no reports of a Covid outbreak in the sprawling park. The government communique said visitors cannot leave "until on-site testing returns a negative result".
The Shanghai Disney property, a huge 390-hectare theme park, consists of Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown and Wishing Star Park. Disney had not made it clear where the visitors were kept following the abrupt closing of the park, but had stated that two hotels in the premises were operating.
Following Beijing's draconian zero-Covid policy, the local government has insisted that those who had visited the park since Thursday should get as many as three negative Covid-19 tests over three successive days before they can leave.
Held in the Parking Lot
The Associated Press reported that visitors have been moved out of the park are held in the parking lot even as they undergo rigorous Covid-19 testing. Initially some amusements in the park kept operating as the guests were not allowed to leave.
Shanghai had witnessed stern implementation of the zero-Covid policy in March when 25 million people were restricted inside their houses during a 2-month lockdown. Beijing's zero-Covid policy had seriously impacted business and life in China's commercial capital.
China has refused to review its harsh zero-Covid policy in the face of protests across the country. Two harshly worded protest protest banners targeting President Xi Jinping had appeared on an overpass in Beijing city last month, even as the Communist Party Congress was underway. The protest banners specifically drew attention to the draconian Covid-19 measures that China continues to slap on large chunks of populations. One of the banners reads: "Say no to Covid test, yes to food. No to lockdown, yes to freedom. No to lies, yes to dignity."