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US State Department orders departure of non-emergency personnel from Shanghai consulate amid Covid-19 restrictions

<i>HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>Workers wearing personal protective equipment are seen next to food delivered by the local government for residents in a compound during a Covid-19 lockdown in the Jing'an district in Shanghai on April 10.
AFP via Getty Images
HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images
Workers wearing personal protective equipment are seen next to food delivered by the local government for residents in a compound during a Covid-19 lockdown in the Jing'an district in Shanghai on April 10.

By Shania Shelton, CNN

The US State Department on Monday ordered the departure of non-emergency US government employees and family members from its Shanghai consulate due to China’s strict Covid-19 mitigation measures.

In a travel advisory, the State Department recommends reconsidering traveling to China due to “arbitrary enforcement of local laws and COVID-19-related restrictions” and includes the risk of parents being separated from their children.

“The zero-tolerance approach to COVID-19 by the (People’s Republic of China) and Hong Kong governments severely impacts travel and access to public services,” the advisory says. “All travelers should prepare to quarantine at a government-designated location for a minimum of 14 days upon arrival. While in quarantine, health authorities will test travelers as often as daily for COVID-19 and will not permit travelers to leave their rooms.”

Last week, the US State Department issued an advisory allowing for the voluntary departure of Consulate General employees and their families due to the impact of China’s Covid-19 restrictions.

Monday’s order came on the fifth consecutive day in which more than 20,000 daily cases were reported in Shanghai, according to China’s National Health Commission. Although officials have begun lifting restrictions in some neighborhoods where positive cases have not been detected for a 14-day period, the majority of the city is still under lockdown.

Shanghai has now recorded over 220,000 Covid cases since the city’s latest outbreak started in March.

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