China’s latest spike in Covid cases strands tourists and restricts travel
BEIJING — China’s daily Covid case count has climbed into the hundreds as the summer holidays get underway.
Many of the cases have hit spots in central China, rather than economic centers like Beijing and Shanghai. The number of infections in manufacturing hub Guangdong has risen with no major restrictions on business yet.
However, sudden business closures in a tourist area in the southwestern region of Guangxi left more than 2,000 visitors stranded as of Sunday, state media said. The report said local authorities would help the tourists leave.
On Monday, Chengdu city in southwestern Sichuan province ordered bars, gyms and indoor entertainment venues to close temporarily for a week. While the city — known for its spicy cuisine — did not ban people from dining inside restaurants, authorities said they encouraged people to order delivery or takeout instead.
Mainland China reported 108 new Covid cases with symptoms and 827 without symptoms for Tuesday. The western province of Gansu and Guangxi accounted for the majority, but at least a handful of cases were reported in 12 other province-level regions.
The surge to hundreds of cases a day has only occurred in the last week and a half. The mainland reported no new deaths from Covid during that time.
Starting in late June, the central government began to relax quarantine measures. The capital city of Beijing has eased restrictions for entering the city from other parts of China.
But domestic visitors to the capital or different parts of China may still need to quarantine for a week upon arrival depending on the presence of Covid in their travel history.
During the first half of the year, domestic tourist trips fell by 22.2% from a year ago to 1.46 billion, according to the tourism ministry. A quarterly breakdown wasn’t available, although the report said the second quarter was greatly affected by Covid.