(Yicai Global) Aug. 15 -- The international airport in Haikou, capital of Hainan province, has reopened after being shut for five days as the popular holiday destination battles with an outbreak of Covid-19, leaving around 150,000 tourists stranded. But only a handful of flights are departing as many destination cities are refusing to receive them.
All domestic passenger flights in and out of Haikou Meilan International Airport have resumed, the provincial government said on Aug. 13.
However, as of 9.45 a.m. China time today, 72.6 percent of scheduled outbound flights, some 199, had been scrapped, according to flight information provider Flight Master. Only 10 flights had taken off and 65 were still scheduled to take off.
And yesterday, 91.7 percent of outbound flights were cancelled. Only 27 flights departed, according to Flight Master. Six of the outbound aircraft headed to Changsha in central Hunan province and five were bound for Shanghai.
Many of the outbound flights are chartered services organized by local governments to take home the grounded tourists, travel agencies and tourists told Yicai Global. Hainan is finalizing a list of passengers permitted to leave the province, and in which order.
Whether regular passenger flights are allowed to fly depends on health regulators in the destination city, based on whether they have adequate quarantine facilities available and what the Covid-19 situation is there, industry insiders said. Local governments need to quickly work out quarantine procedures for travelers from Hainan.
Everything must be done to get tourists stranded on the island off as soon as possible, Sun Chunlan, vice premier of the country’s cabinet, said on Aug. 13. Destination cities must not refuse to receive them nor let limits on the number of people they will accept. And Hainan must implement strict Covid-19 safety protocols to prevent the virus spreading outside the province.
Editors: Shi Yi, Kim Taylor