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February 4, 2020

US travel advisory asks citizens not to travel to China

Top Story

February 4, 2020

WASHINGTON: The US on Monday issued a warning for Americans asking not to travel to China due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan.

The travel advisory put the alert on level 4. It said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has determined that the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. "Travelers should be prepared for the possibility of travel restrictions with a little or no advance notice. Most commercial air carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China," the advisory stated.

According to the State Department, those currently in China should attempt to depart by commercial means. US citizens remaining in China should follow the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Chinese health authorities' guidance for prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment. "We strongly urge US citizens remaining in China to stay home as much as possible and limit contact with others, including large gatherings," the department said adding, "Consider stocking up on food and other supplies to limit movement outside the home. In the event that the situation deteriorates further, the ability of the US Embassy and Consulates to provide assistance to US nationals within China may be limited."

In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Chinese authorities have suspended air, road, and rail travel in the area around Wuhan and placed restrictions on travel and other activities throughout the country. On January 23, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency US personnel and their family members from Wuhan. On January 29, 2020, the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency personnel and family members of the US government employees from China. On January 31, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of all family members under age 21 of US personnel in China.

The US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has already issued a warning for all of China. The CDC also published suggestions on how to reduce your risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.