China Daily

Blame the virus, don’t scapegoat tourists


Hainan island is bearing the brunt of the latest novel coronaviru­s outbreak. Over 80,000 tourists are undergoing a mandatory sevenday quarantine in Sanya alone.

The provincial government of Hainan is doing its best to help the tourists, by ordering all hotels to half the room rates and letting tourists who meet quarantine requiremen­ts go back home.

But on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, some users are blaming tourists for “spreading the virus wherever they go”.

It could not be any more absurd.

People have the right to travel. Anybody with the slightest knowledge about domestic COVID-19 pandemic control policies should know that the tourists who flew to Hainan had to undergo nucleic acid testing 48 hours before boarding their flights, and ensure that their health kit code was green, and undergo regular nucleic acid testing upon arrival as well.

As long as a tourist follows the virus control protocol, he or she should not be blamed for traveling.

Also, one must not forget that the tourists suffer from the lockdown that is not of their own making.

Tourism is the pillar of Hainan’s economy, and it is the tourists who are sources of tourism revenue. That’s all the more reason why they should not be accused of “spreading the pandemic”.

The global COVID-19 pandemic remains grave and the pressure of cases coming from overseas is also high. This is a time to stay united and fight against the virus, not scapegoat the tourists.

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