THOUSANDS of Shanghai Disneyland guests have been locked down inside the resort after a Covid outbreak – but visitors can still enjoy the rides.
Footage showed panicked guests racing to the park's gates to escape after the snap shutdown on Monday – only to find them locked.
All visitors have now been ordered to stay put until they can provide a negative Covid test as China continues to slap sweeping draconian restrictions on the population.
Shortly after 11.30am local time, the resort said it would immediately shut the main theme park and nearby areas – including its shopping street – until further notice.
“We will notify guests as soon as we have a confirmed date to resume operations,” the park said in a statement.
In one silver lining for fed-up guests, Disneyland said it will keep the outdoor attractions and two hotels open – meaning visitors will have free reign of the park with short queues.
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The resort has reportedly kept the rides open for those stuck inside as thousands wait in long line to be swabbed.
Some social media users said they dreamt of being locked inside Disneyland – but others slammed the disruption to their trip.
Security guards and medical workers in full-body PPE suits swooped on the sealed-off site to keep order and set up mass testing sites.
Eerie pictures showed thousands of visitors lining up for Covid tests as the daily Disneyworld fireworks filled the skies over the resort on Monday night.
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A video posted on Twitter-like Weibo showed long lines of visitors – including a child in a stroller, waiting to be tested.
"There are about 20,000 tourists in the park and the queue is still quite long," the person said.
A Shanghai Disney Resort spokesperson confirmed it was operating "limited offerings" – and said they were following guidelines from China's health authorities.
The Shanghai government said the park was banning people from entering or leaving – and all visitors inside would need to wait for the results of their tests before they could leave.
Anyone who has visited the park since October 27 has also been ordered to test daily for Covid for three days – suggesting someone who was at the park on that day might have tested positive.
Shanghai Disneyland already requires visitors to test negative for Covid before visiting and to wear facemasks inside.
The closure marks the latest disruption for the park – which was shut for over three months during Shanghai's lockdown earlier this year.
The resort was also closed for two days in November last year with more than 30,000 visitors stuck inside, after authorities ordered all of them to be tested.
China continues to take a no-tolerance approach to the virus nearly three years after the first infection was reported in the Communist nation.
The sudden closure comes two days after mass Covid testing was ordered across the city and 1.3 million residents were locked down under China's draconian zero-Covid policy.
The city of 25million people has recorded just 97 cases of Covid in the past 28 days – but tens of millions of residents are being ordered to take tests every day and entire neighbourhoods have been locked down.
Local authorities across China continue to impose extreme measures to cut any possibility of virus transmission in line with the country's ultra-strict zero-tolerance approach towards Covid.
The Universal Resort in the capital Beijing only just reopened on Monday after a five-day closure – prompted by virus measures.
It comes after China plunged 800,000 people in Wuhan back into lockdown last week as the nation continues its brutal "Covid Zero" policies.
The city was the site of the world's first Covid outbreak – sounding the alarm to the World Health Organisation on December 31, 2019.
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Wuhan joined 27 other cities under varying levels of lockdown rules – with nearly 210million people impacted by the restrictions.
Wuhan has registered 240 cases over the last two weeks – but that was enough to tip the scales.
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