Ikea shoppers in China panic after surprise COVID store closures

Ikea shoppers in China panic after surprise COVID store closures

Chaos spread at an Ikea store in Shanghai over the weekend after local authorities tried to implement a surprise lockdown with shoppers still inside due to possible COVID-19 exposure.

videos shared online by writer Fang Shimin and others showed Ikea shoppers having to flee the store on Saturday before authorities could close the doors.

The rush to exit came after an announcement at the Ikea store revealed authorities were closing the store and not allowing anyone in or out.

At one point, a large group of shoppers physically pushed past officers who had tried to arrest them.

Those who couldn’t escape were stuck inside for more than four hours before being taken to nearby hotels for quarantine, Bloomberg reported, citing an eyewitness’ description on Chinese social media.

State health officials in Shanghai later confirmed they had introduced “temporary control measures” at the Ikea store and some surrounding areas. The lockdown followed after authorities learned that someone shopping at the Ikea store had been exposed to a six-year-old with an asymptomatic case of COVID-19.

Shoppers stuck inside will be forced to quarantine on-site for two days and then undergo five-day health surveillance, said Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission, according to Bloomberg.

The Ikea Shanghai location was closed until Monday and was expected to reopen on Tuesday, the company said in a statement. The Post has reached out to Ikea for further comment.

Ikea buyers in China are panickingIkea buyers in China pushed past authorities.Twitter

Ikea store in ShanghaiThe Ikea store in Shanghai is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday. Future Publishing via Getty Images

China has enacted controversial “zero-COVID” measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Residents of Shanghai and other cities have been grappling with sporadic lockdowns for months. At one point earlier this year, Shanghai was under lockdown for two months, with residents unable to leave their homes.

In May, videos circulated on social media showing workers at an Apple supplier’s Shanghai factory rebelling over lockdowns. The factory was one of many facilities that adopted a “closed-loop system,” in which employees were forced to work, eat, and sleep on-site or in nearby “bubbles.”

Shanghai zero COVIDChina has passed controversial “zero-COVID” measures. AFP via Getty Images

Beijing has been widely criticized for its draconian crackdown on the virus. Earlier this month, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted “End the CCP” — a nod to the Chinese Communist Party — while also sharing a CNN report detailing Beijing’s strict “zero-COVID” rules.

Measures have included mandatory COVID-19 testing with color-coded access to public areas depending on results, as well as health-tracking apps that have heightened fears of government surveillance.