State Department Orders All Non-emergency Govt Staff to Leave Shanghai (Dreamstime)
By Jeremy Frankel | Monday, 11 April 2022 10:31 PM
As COVID in Shanghai surges, the U.S. State Department has ordered all non-emergency government staff, along with their family members, to evacuate the city, adding a warning for U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to China.
"Reconsider travel to the People's Republic of China (PRC) due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws and COVID-19-related restrictions," the State Department's China travel advisory read Monday.
"Do not travel to the PRC's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Jilin province, and Shanghai municipality due to COVID-19-related restrictions, including the risk of parents and children being separated. Reconsider travel to the PRC's Hong Kong SAR due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws."
This follows an announcement this weekend by the U.S. Mission China in Beijing saying non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members of emergency and non-emergency U.S. government employees could voluntarily leave Shanghai.
China is "strongly dissatisfied" with and "firmly opposes" the U.S. criticism of China's COVID policies, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Saturday, calling it a "groundless accusation," CNBC reported.
Cases in the city had been rising since February. Shanghai had been locked down since late-March.