Sanya offers hotel discounts for stranded tourists

Sanya, a tourist hotspot in China's southern Hainan Province, has offered hotel discounts for stranded tourists after seeing hundreds of new COVID-19 infections.

The city was closed-off on early Saturday amid a recent epidemic flare-up of over 800 cases.

It is the first time the Omicron subvariant BA.5.1.3 has been detected in China.

Besides essential services and emergency assistance, "unnecessary movement" is currently restricted in Sanya, and all public transport is suspended, according to the local government.

Sanya's secretary-general Ji Duanrong said around 32,000 tourists are currently staying in the city's hotels.

"Hotels should provide tourists a half-price discount. After completing the seven-day risk assessment, tourists can leave," said Ji at a press briefing on Sunday afternoon.

Mass testing is underway across the entirety of Hainan Province. To leave Sanya, tourists must obtain five negative PCR test results over seven days.

Meanwhile, some tourists complained on social media that hotel prices were still high despite the discount. In response, the local government said the discount should be based on the tourists' original booking price, not the current retail price, adding tourists could file complaints. In the meantime, local authorities are also working on detailed guidelines on hotel accommodations for stranded tourists.

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