US Orders Non-Essential Embassy Staff in Shanghai to Evacuate over COVID-19 Outbreak

The US Department of State (DOS) ordered non-emergency US government employees and all family members to leave the Consulate General Shanghai consular district due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the city.

The DOS released a Travel Advisory on China on April 11, marking the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Jilin province, and Shanghai as  Level 3, which asked American citizens to reconsider travel to the regions “due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws and COVID-19-related restrictions.” 

Mainland China has experienced the worst Covid epidemic over the last few weeks since the pandemic began in early 2020, with the northern province of Jilin and the southeastern city of Shanghai among the most severely affected. 

The DOS previously issued a travel warning that included the same language concerning “arbitrary enforcement of local regulations” and Covid-19 restrictions” on April 8. 

Shanghai officials lifted quarantine restrictions that had separated parents from their children last week and announced a staged approach to lifting lockdowns this week.

The recent travel advisory by the DOS also included a warning against arbitrary detention and exit bans on U.S citizens as well as citizens of other countries.

“The PRC government arbitrarily enforces local laws, including carrying out arbitrary and wrongful detentions and using exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries without due process of law.” said the DOS. 

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