Hainan COVID outbreak prompts temporary Haikou store closures as Sanya remains in lockdown

CHINA. The Moodie Davitt Report is bringing you regular updates on the situation in Hainan, home to China’s offshore duty free shopping sector, which has been hit by a serious COVID-19 outbreak. As of 6am this morning (8 August) all downtown duty free stores in Haikou and Sanya are temporarily closed until further notice.

Together with our colleagues on the ground in Hainan at Hainan Hinews Media Co, retailers on the island and our associates at Jessicas Secret, we will bring you the latest developments as they happen.

From 0:00 to 24:00 on Sunday 7 August, there were 259 newly confirmed cases and 245 asymptomatic infections in Hainan Province, according to official statistics. 186 were recorded in Sanya City (including 30 asymptomatic transferred confirmed cases) and four in Haikou City.

From 0:00 on 1 August to 24:00 on 7 August, a total of 982 local confirmed cases were reported in this latest outbreak, 801 of them in Sanya and just eight in Haikou City.

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UPDATE: 8 August: Offshore duty free stores in Haikou have all closed temporarily today until further notice as the city falls under static management (lockdown) from 6am this morning until at least 7pm this evening. Local authorities continue to battle the current COVID-19 outbreak on the island,with most cases to date in Sanya to the south.

Any reopenings will have to be approved by the government, one leading travel retailer told The Moodie Davitt Report this morning. The retailers affected are China Duty Free Group and GDF Plaza at Mova Mall and Shenzhen Duty Free/DFS Group at Mission Hills.

UPDATE: 6 August: Sanya Phoenix International Airport cancelled all flights scheduled for this afternoon Hainan time.

Latest COVID-19 numbers from Sanya show 240 new confirmed local cases and a further 173 asymptomatic cases yesterday

6 August: The city of Sanya – the heart of Hainan’s offshore duty free shopping sector – is reeling from a COVID-19 outbreak that has left some 80,000 tourists stranded and forced all three downtown travel retail stores (China Duty Free Group in Haitang Bay and CNSC and HTDF in downtown Sanya) to close.

“Our store and HTDF’s were closed since 4th August. But the situation is getting worse, Sanya has been shut down temporarily since this morning,” a CNSC spokesperson told The Moodie Davitt Report this morning.

“Our store is closed [again since 4 August -Ed] and all staff stay at home. The whole city is under static management,” an HTDF executive confirmed.

China Duty Free Group announced the closure of its key Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex and CDF Mall in Haitang Bay yesterday.

As of this morning (6 August), all Haikou stores – China Duty Free Group, GDF Plaza and Times DF (Shenzhen Duty-Free Group and DFS) – are still trading, each retailer confirmed to The Moodie Davitt Report.

According to Hainan state media, Sanya City recorded 40 new confirmed cases and 17 asymptomatic infections yesterday (5 August). From 1 to 5 August, 375 confirmed cases and 62 asymptomatic infections were found.

All three Sanya offshore duty free retailers announce their store closures (from left, China Duty Free Group, CNSC and HTDF)

The Sanya New Coronary Virus Pneumonia Epidemic Prevention and Control Work Headquarters issued a notice that the current epidemic prevention and control situation in Sanya is “very severe”.

Crackdown from 6 August

The local government has introduced strict temporary measures from 6:00 a.m. today (6 August), with city-wide restrictions on movement of people and the suspension of urban public transport. According to our colleagues at Hainan Hinews Media Company (The Moodie Davitt Report’s strategic partner on the island), a press conference of the COVID-19 Prevention and Control Headquarters of Hainan Province will be held at 4p.m. this afternoon.

HTDF is closed until further notice as authorities race to bring the COVID outbreak under control
CDF Mall, part of the acclaimed Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex, closed its doors yesterday

Various local reports (CCTV, Hainan Daily and XInmen Evening News) reported that the outbreak reveals “obvious clustering” and that it has hit the peak summer tourism season hard.

The reports quoted Sanya Municipal Government Deputy Mayor He Shigang who said that most of the infected people are local residents. The majority of stranded tourists are in Sanya Bay and Yalong Bay, prompting the introduction of daily nucleic acid tests in tourist-concentrated areas to prevent further spread.

TIMES DF, the partnership between Shenzhen Duty-Free Group and DFS Group (shown exhibiting here at the recent Hainan Expo) remains open for business

He Shigang said that Haitang Bay and Yalong Bay are relatively independent units, so checkpoints have been set up at the intersection between them. Mainland tourists can still arrive and check into their hotels provided they have a valid nucleic acid test certificate.

“We must do our best to ensure that there are no epidemics or cases in these places, and places with more tourists must be strictly controlled to prevent them from being affected by the spread of the epidemic,” he said.

CNSC in Sanya has been forced to close its doors since Thursday

Anyone leaving Sanya City must have two negative nucleic acid certificates within 48 hours to prevent the virus from spreading elsewhere, He Shigang noted.

GDF Plaza in the Mova Mall, Haikou remains open

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Footnote: Every fortnight The Moodie Davitt Report publishes Hainan Curated, in association with Foreo, a selection of all recent stories from the offshore duty free sector in Hainan province. Click here to view all back issues. Please email Kristyn@MoodieDavittReport.com to subscribe free of charge.

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New China market launch

In June The Moodie Davitt Report launched 穆迪达维特中国旅游零售报告 – The Moodie Davitt China Travel Retail Report, a digital magazine dedicated to our industry’s hottest market.

The new digital title is published in Mandarin and English four times a year across multiple platforms.

The launch edition explored China Duty Free Group’s extraordinary rise over recent years to become the world’s number one travel retailer and examined its application for a secondary listing on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong

This exciting new digital magazine from the world’s leading travel retail publisher focuses on all aspects of China’s travel-related ecosystem, including:

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