BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have closed Tibet’s famed Potala Palace after a minor outbreak of COVID-19 in the Himalayan region. The response underscores China’s continued adherence to its hard-line “zero-COVID” policy, mandating lockdowns, quarantines and travel restrictions, even while most other countries have reopened. A notice on the palace’s social media site said the palace that was the traditional home of Tibet’s Buddhist leaders would be closed from Tuesday, with a reopening date to be announced later. Tibet’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism and the Potala is a key draw. China announced over 800 new cases of domestic transmission, 22 of them in Tibet. More than 80,000 travelers remain stranded on the southern resort island of Hainan but a first planeload left Tuesday.
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