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Covid outbreak traps visitors at Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disney Resort abruptly shut its doors Monday as Chinese authorities imposed a snap lockdown, trapping guests who are not permitted to leave until they test negative for Covid-19.

China is the last major economy wedded to a zero-Covid policy, with authorities brandishing snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines in an effort to stamp out emerging outbreaks.

But new variants have tested local officials' ability to snuff out flare-ups faster than they can spread, causing much of the country to live under an ever-changing mosaic of Covid curbs.

Visitors to Shanghai Disney Resort are not allowed to leave "until on-site testing returns a negative result", the city government said in an online notice on Monday.

It added that those who had visited the park since Thursday must obtain three negative Covid tests over three successive days and "avoid participating in group activities".

The announcement came after Disney said it was "temporarily closing with immediate effect... in accordance with disease control requirements".

The sprawling 390-hectare (960 acres) theme park and resort includes Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown and Wishing Star Park. The resort had previously said that it was operating at reduced capacity due to Covid restrictions.

"We will notify guests as soon as we have a confirmed date to resume operations," Disney said.

China reported 2,699 local Covid infections on Monday, including 10 asymptomatic cases in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission.

The eastern megacity -- a major hub for the world's second-largest economy -- seethed under a months-long lockdown earlier this year marked by sporadic food shortages and isolated protests.

mjw/dhc