China closes Potala Palace after Covid-19 outbreak reported in Tibet | Travel

The Potala Palace, which was the traditional residence of Tibet’s Buddhist rulers, would be closed from Tuesday, with a reopening date to be announced later, as Chinese authorities report a minor outbreak of Covid-19 in the region. of the Himalayas.

PTI | | Posted by Zarafshan Shirazbeijing

Chinese authorities have closed the famous Potala Palace in Tibet after a minor outbreak of Covid-19 was reported in the Himalayan region.

The response underscores China’s continued adherence to its “zero-Covid” policy, imposing lockdowns, routine testing, quarantines and travel restrictions, even as most other countries have reopened.

A notice on the palace’s Weixin social media site said the palace which was the traditional home of Tibet’s Buddhist rulers would be closed from Tuesday, with a reopening date to be announced later.

Tibet‘s economy is heavily dependent on tourism and the Potala is a major draw.

China says its hardline policy has succeeded in preventing large-scale hospitalizations and deaths, while critics including the World Health Organization have decried its impact on the economy and society and say that she was out of step with the changing nature of the virus and new methods of prevention and treatment.

China announced 828 new cases of national transmission on Tuesday, including 22 in Tibet. The majority of these cases had no symptoms.

Elsewhere in China, authorities sent a first plane loaded with 125 tourists out of the resort town of Sanya, where tens of thousands of travelers have been stranded since Saturday by a Covid-19 lockdown.

State broadcaster CCTV said the city in Hainan province was organizing more flights to bring tourists home in batches after the initial flight to Xi’an. They are only allowed to leave after several negative virus test results.

The provincial capital, Haikou, will be closed for 5 p.m. Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., the city said.

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