Covid-19 has caused Hong Kong Disneyland to close. This was in response to an increase of cases, which prompted the government’s new travel ban. 

The theme park, a sprawling 310-acre site home to three hotels on Lantau Island, will be shuttered from Friday to January 20, Disney said today.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced on Tuesday the city was closing bars and gyms and cancelling evening restaurant dining after Omicron was detected in the international business hub.

Travel from eight countries is now barred for at least two weeks: Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Britain and the United States.

Lam will face pressure from Beijing’s overlords in order to end any epidemic. China’s aggressive “zero Covid” approach is being pursued ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics.

The theme park, a sprawling 310-acre site home to three hotels on Lantau Island, will be shuttered from Friday to January 20

From Friday, January 20, 2018, the theme park on Lantau Island (310 acres) will be closed.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam (speaking on Tuesday) announced the city was closing bars and gyms and cancelling evening restaurant dining after Omicron was detected in the international business hub. Lam will be under pressure from her Beijing overlords to ensure that any outbreak is stamped out in its tracks as China is pursuing an aggressive 'zero Covid' approach ahead of the Winter Olympics next month.

Carrie Lam of Hong Kong (speaking Tuesday) said that the city would close bars, gyms, and cancel evening dining venues after Omicron was found in the international hub. Lam will feel the pressure of her Beijing counterparts to end any Omicron outbreak. China’s aggressive “zero Covid” approach is being pursued ahead of the Winter Olympics.

Medical workers walk out of Causeway Tower after the building was locked-down over an Omicron outbreak linked to a Cathay Pacific flight

Medical workers walk out of Causeway Tower after the building was locked-down over an Omicron outbreak linked to a Cathay Pacific flight

‘Starving’ residents of quarantined Chinese city desperately barter electronics for food – as ANOTHER city of 1.2million is locked down due to just THREE Covid cases 

As the fear of starvation and shortages worsen, residents of quarantined Chinese town Xian are desperately trying to trade electronics for food.  

It comes as Yuzhou, a city of 1.2million in central China, was locked down on Tuesday after just three asymptomatic Covid-19 cases were recorded.

Xian’s 13 million residents have been confined to their homes since December 23 and are banned from leaving even for food and essential supplies, having to rely on local officials to drop off care packages.

Recent residents took to social media to express concern about the shortages. Some said that they have yet to get aid while others claimed they’ve taken to bartering.  

Weibo, the Chinese social media platform, posted photos and video showing residents trading their Nintendo Switch for instant noodles, steamed buns and cigarettes, and even a pile of vegetables for sanitary pads. 

The State media disputed these claims by posting footage and pictures of officials claiming that they delivered grocery bags to locked-down residents in December. 

Others also published propaganda, including photos purporting that they showed lorries outside buildings of Xian as well as fridges stacked full of fresh produce.  

Xian, a popular tourist hub famed for its Terracotta Warriors, has reported 1,600 cases since December 9 – and although this may seem a small figure, Beijing is desperate to stamp out the virus ahead of the Winter Olympics next month. 

Two Chinese cities, Xian (China) and Yuzhou (China), are under tight lockdown orders.

Officials in Hong Kong reported that 114 Omicron cases were detected. A small epidemic of transmission was traced back to Cathay Pacific flights. 

Lam stated that health officials were concerned about the spread of the strain within the community. 

This is the latest economic hit to a city which kept its cases low, but has left its residents isolated from the rest world due to tight border controls.

Hong Kong is similar to mainland China in that it has maintained the strictest control systems, including mass testing and lockdowns as well as targeted lockdowns for weeks. 

Near the Chinese capital Zhengzhou to the north, approximately 12 million people were required to submit Wednesday’s Covid-19 test after only 11 Omicron cases had been detected.

Partially locked down, the central city joins millions of people in nearby cities Xian or Yuzhou who are also under stay-at home orders.

Officials said that the outbreak was under control and that Xian had seen its lowest number of cases in several weeks.

Ma Guanghui said, “The epidemic shows a downward trend,” and was the deputy director for Shaanxi’s health commission.

Since Covid-19 was first introduced in China in 2019, China has maintained a strict approach to stamping out Covid cases as soon as they arise. This includes tight border restrictions, targeted lockdowns and strict border controls.

With less than one month until the Olympics however, small epidemics have put pressure on the strategy.

This approach is markedly different from the one used by Western nations who have chosen to deal with the virus instead of returning to restrictive restrictions. 

Due to the more liberal policy, there has been an explosion of cases in the West. The United States reports more than 1 million cases every Monday.

Britain broke the 200,000 mark for the first times on Tuesday. Australia and France posted nearly 50,000 each, while France had more than 270,000. These three countries are easily surpassing their prior records.

France’s president Emmanuel Macron warned French citizens not yet vaccinated, that he would make their life more difficult by limiting key areas of life. 

China has seen a recent spike in infections, the majority from the city of Xian, but the official figures remain very low

China saw a sudden spike in infection rates, with the majority coming from Xian. However, official statistics remain low. 

Residents of Zhengzhou in Henan province line up for nucleic acid testing following an outbreak of Covid-19 in the city

After the outbreak of Covid-19, residents of Zhengzhou (Henan Province) line up to have nucleic acids tested

Health officials in full PPE stand beside busses and police cars in pictures uploaded to Chinese social media site Weibo from Xian

Photos uploaded by Weibo from Xian show health officers in PPE standing alongside police cars and busses.

It is attempting to force legislation through that would make vaccines compulsory in cultural activities. 

Further anger was generated in Australia by the vaccine policy. Novak Djokovic, world number 1 tennis player, received a medical exemption that allowed him to participate at the Australian Open.

Craig Tiley, Tournament chief, stated that the champion had received ‘no special favor’.

Stephen Parnis (a former vice-president of the Australian Medical Association) said that it was sending an “appalling message” to those trying to prevent the spread.

“I don’t matter how great a tennis player you are. Parnis tweeted that if he refuses to be vaccinated, then he should not be permitted in.