Shanghai Disneyland Locks Down, Tests Thousands of Parkgoers Amid COVID-19 Scare
Thousands of parkgoers at Shanghai Disneyland were locked down and tested for COVID-19 Sunday evening after someone who had visited the park previously tested positive in a nearby city, according to reports.
The park shut its gates to new visitors and mass-tested everyone already inside with health care workers dressed in head to toe white protective suits, The Associated Press reported. The response may have been triggered after someone who had visited the park on Saturday tested positive.
"In order to follow the requirement of pandemic prevention and control, Shanghai Disneyland and Disneytown will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, November 1-2, 2021," the theme park wrote in a notice on its website on Sunday. "We will notify guests as soon as we have a confirmed date to resume operations. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide refund or exchange for all guests impacted during this period. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!"
Anyone who got stuck in the Shanghai park on Sunday — and there were tens of thousands of them — had to wait for a negative test result to leave. The AP noted more than 33,800 people who had been at the park tested negative and will be asked to get tested again.
"No one complained, and everyone behaved really well," one park-goer told the wire service, adding she was waiting at a hotel for a second COVID-19 test before she could head back to Beijing.
The Chinese theme park was the first Disney park to close in January 2020 as the coronavirus began to spread.
The strict response underscores Beijing's preparations for the winter Olympic Games, which are set to start in the Chinese city on Feb. 4, 2022. International spectators have been banned during the games, Beijing will require all unvaccinated athletes to quarantine for 21 days upon arrival, and fully-vaccinated participants will enter a bubble where they will be tested daily.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.