Brian Hall departed Shanghai in June to avoid another lockdown at his residential compound, fleeing to China’s tropical tourist island of Hainan, where he could work remotely as a public health professor following a 10-day quarantine.
Hall, who has been working at New York University Shanghai for the past two years, is now detained in Sanya, Hainan’s primary tourism center, with no idea when he will be able to leave.
Hainan province is one of several Chinese locations that had experienced relatively few instances for more than two years but are now dealing with outbreaks, heightening the prospect of further tight restrictions as the economy deteriorates.
Although low by global standards, officials on the island have detained millions of inhabitants as part of China’s “dynamic COVID-zero” strategy, which attempts to eradicate epidemics as soon as possible. People are only permitted to leave the building for specific purposes like as COVID testing, grocery shopping, and critical work tasks.
According to official media, over 178,000 visitors were stuck in Hainan, including approximately 57,000 in Sanya.