First batch of COVID-trapped tourists leaves Hainan
Tourists from outside Hainan Province, who have been trapped on the south China island since the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, began returning home on Tuesday.
The Hainan government on Tuesday announced the conditions under which the trapped tourists are allowed to leave the island.
Those who are located in districts, counties or cities with no COVID-19 cases or whose travel groups or hotels had no cases in the past seven days can leave on two negative polymerase chain reaction test results within 48 hours with one test each day.
The same test results are required of individual tourists who don't travel in groups. They also should not have suspicious symptoms such as fever, cough, anosmia or sore muscles in the past three days.
The two types of tourists, if located in low-risk areas, will also be able to leave the island, but only on three negative PCR test results within 72 hours with one test each day.
Those located in medium- and high-risk areas will be able to leave after the areas are downgraded to low-risk. This basically means that COVID-19 patients, their close contacts and tourists who are located in medium- and high-risk areas won't be able to leave the island at the moment.
People with medical needs, senior citizens, children and pregnant women and their companions can get priority service if they so wish, according to the provincial government.
The departing tourists will be transported to airports under closed-loop management arranged by local governments, and at their destinations, local governments will arrange to take them back home without contact with other people.
Those who return home are required to report their travel history to their local government on arrival and observe local pandemic control rules.
Starting from Tuesday afternoon, three charter flights were leaving from Sanya Phoenix International Airport for Xi'an, Chengdu and Shanghai, respectively, to transport trapped tourists back to their home cities.
By 12pm on Tuesday, Hainan had reported a total of 1,899 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases since August 1, among which 1,558 were reported from its top beach destination Sanya, where summer tourism is on full swing.