Shanghai Disney is forced to close its doors after Halloween Covid scare. China intensifies efforts to eradicate the virus

  • Contact Disneyland Shanghai to trace blighted fireworks Sunday night  
  • After returning home from the park on Saturday, a woman tested positive
  • Beijing’s strict zero Covid’ strategy doesn’t allow for transmission of disease 
  • Disneyland requires that more than 33,000 guests pass tests before they can leave.

Shanghai Disneyland has been placed under lockdown due to a single Covid case. The gates will remain closed while authorities test the safety of tens of thousands of visitors.

Last night, the park’s Halloween fireworks were marred by frantic contact tracing. Health officials dressed in protective suits visited families and wabbed them under the watchful eyes of police officers at the exits and entrances.

Disneyland and its adjacent shopping mecca, Disneytown, are to remain under strict lockdown rules until at least Tuesday as the authorities seek to stamp out the virus.

The panic was sparked when a woman who visited the park tested positive for the disease after returning home to the nearby city of Hangzou on Saturday. 

More than 33,000 guests are now subject to testing before they can leave the resort. 

The Chinese Communist Party has a strict zero Covid’ strategy that does not allow for transmission of the virus. This is in contrast to countries like the UK and the US, which have chosen to live with the disease.

Beijing’s uncompromising policy has kept China’s borders sealed since March 2020. This has allowed for relatively low reported cases, with only 4,636 deaths since the pandemic began and 97.243 infected people.

Frantic contact tracing blighted the theme park's Halloween fireworks last night as health officials in protective suits carried out tests under the watchful eye of the police manning the entrances and exits

Last night’s Halloween fireworks were ruined by frantic contact tracing. Health officials in protective suits performed tests under the supervision of police officers at the exits and entrances.

Health officials in full PPE carry out tests on families at Disneyland Shanghai on Sunday night

On Sunday night, Disneyland Shanghai’s health officials in full PPE conduct tests on families

However, freedom comes at a high price. Six million people are currently under lockdown orders, most of them in the north.  

Tens of thousands of visitors and families remained in Disneyland for hours as they waited for a negative result.

One Disney superfan, who gave her name as Chen, stated that she was in the park when the announcement about the testing at 5pm came out, but that she had taken it all in stride.

She stated that “No one complained” and that everyone behaved well. Chen stated that she has an annual membership and visits it at least once per month.

She is currently waiting at a hotel to receive her second Covid result before she is allowed leave to go back to Beijing.

Monday morning, the city announced that all 33.863 people who were at the park over the weekend had been negative for Covid.

They will be asked for a second test in two weeks and to keep an eye on their health.

Shanghai Disneyland is the latest example of the extent to which Chinese authorities will go in order to stop the spread. 

Beijing Railway authorities called Jinan Health Authorities to stop a train traveling from Shanghai to Beijing. One passenger was a close friend of someone who had tested positive in Covid. 

The empty Disneytown on Monday after the resorts shut its gates on Sunday

After Sunday’s closure of the resorts, Disneytown was empty on Monday

Policemen stand watch as people are tested by health workers during the Disneyland fireworks

Police officers stand guard as health workers test people during the Disneyland fireworks 

A worker wearing a face mask and gloves walks part temperature screening tents at the resort on Monday

A worker walks in part-temperature screening tents while wearing gloves and a facemask at the resort’s Monday.

The deserted Disney Resort subway station in Shanghai on Monday morning

On Monday morning, the abandoned Disney Resort subway station was discovered in Shanghai

Jinan health officials then sent transportation workers, health care workers and police to rush to the station in an effort to quarantine passengers and disinfect the train.  

They sent 212 people into centralised Quarantine, including close contact.

Monday’s number of cases was 92, the most since mid-September. 

Beijing will host the Winter Olympics in less than 100 days. Authorities have stated that eradicating the virus is their greatest challenge in the build-up.

About six million people are under lockdown orders – mainly in the northern parts of China.

Mi Feng spokeswoman for the National Health Commission and stated that authorities would continue “strictly prohibit people living in locked-down communities from moving their homes”.

Beijing introduced new curbs Saturday, including the closure of all cinemas within one western district.