Hometown of Confucius Shandong becomes sixth province in China to halt cross-region tourism amid spiking epidemic
Published: Oct 27, 2021 07:05 PM
Confucian temple in Qufu, East China's Shandong Province Photo: VCG

Confucian temple in Qufu, East China's Shandong Province Photo: VCG

East China's Shandong Province where is known for its Confucian heritage halts cross-region tourism on Wednesday, becoming the latest province in China to activate a circuit-breaker measure amid spiking COVID-19 infections after Beijing, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Southwest China's Guizhou, Northwest China's Gansu provinces. 

Shandong is a coastal province in East China known for its Taoist and Confucian heritage, also the second most populous province of China. 

This measure is in line with requirements released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It requires travel agencies, in a circuit-breaker measure, to suspend cross-provincial tourism activities in regions that are medium- or high-risk areas for the epidemic. 

The circuit-breaker measure was activated on Wednesday immediately after one community in Rizhao, Shanxi Province, was labeled as medium risk for the epidemic, according to the provincial tourism department in Shandong. 

Under the measures, all cross-region tourism activities should suspend as well the travel agencies' operation of air tickets and hotels. The measure will be automatically lifted when the province is free of medium- or high-risk epidemic regions. 

Several online travel agencies reached by the Global Times on Wednesday said they have halted cross-region tourism immediately after the notice. Most travel agencies said tourists who have booked tourism products are able to cancel their journey for free, some say they will charge some fees if their services already began. 

An employee working for a travel agency in Rizhao told the Global Times that only tour groups were halted under this measure. Individual tourism products are still open for tourists. 

But anyone from regions out of Shandong should present negative nucleic acid testing that is taken within 48 hours when they visit scenic spots in the province, the employee said.

The employee said affected by rising COVID-19 epidemic and strict anti-epidemic rules from scenic spots, tourism orders have largely shrunk. 

On Tuesday, Shandong Province reported five confirmed COVID-19 cases, four of which were from Rizhao. The four were from one family.