Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Beijing, January 30, 2020

Location: Wuhan, Hankou area

Event: On January 29, 2020, the Department allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency personnel and family members of U.S. government employees.

There is an ongoing outbreak of a respiratory illness first identified in Wuhan, China, caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Chinese authorities have suspended air and rail travel in the area around Wuhan.

·         The Department of State will be staging additional evacuation flights with capacity for private U.S. citizens on a reimbursable basis, leaving Wuhan Tianhe International Airport on or about February 3, 2020.  Interested U.S. citizens in possession of valid passports should contact CoronaVirusEmergencyUSC@State.gov  with the information listed below. There is no need to call to confirm receipt of your email; you will be contacted.

o    Full name:

o    U.S. passport number:

o    DOB:

o    Gender:

o    Email Address:

o    Phone Number:

o    Chinese Visa Type, Number, and Expiration Date:

·         Individuals who avail themselves of this transport will be subject to CDC screening, health observation, and monitoring requirements.  For additional questions, we refer you to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chinese authorities have imposed strict travel restrictions in the area around Wuhan. Travelers should be aware that the Chinese government could prevent them from entering or exiting parts of Hubei province.

CDCU.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Warning Level 3 Alert (Avoid Nonessential Travel) for all of China due to the ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that can be spread from person to person.

If you are in China, you should:

·         Avoid contact with sick people.

·         Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).

·         Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Please see https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html for further updates.

Continue to exercise increased caution in China due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws and special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese citizens.

The Chinese government has asserted broad authority to prohibit U.S. citizens from leaving China by using “exit bans,” sometimes keeping U.S. citizens in China for years. The Chinese government uses exit bans coercively:

·         to compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations,

·         to lure individuals back to China from abroad, and

·         to aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties.

In most cases, U.S. citizens only become aware of the exit ban when they attempt to depart China, and there is no method to find out how long the ban may continue. U.S. citizens under exit bans have been harassed and threatened.

U.S. citizens may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime. U.S. citizens may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention for reasons related to “state security.” Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government.

Extra security measures, such as security checks and increased levels of police presence, are common in the Xinjiang Uighur and Tibet Autonomous Regions. Authorities may impose curfews and travel restrictions on short notice.

The Chinese government does not recognize dual nationality. U.S.-Chinese citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment, and the Chinese government may prevent the U.S. Embassy from providing consular services. Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to China:

·         If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate immediately.

·         If you plan to enter North Korea, read the North Korea Travel Advisory.

·         Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

·         Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. Follow the U.S. Embassy on TwitterWeChat, and Weibo.

·         Review the Crime and Safety Reports for China.

·         Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy Beijing

No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600
China
Telephone: +(86)(10) 8531-4000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(86)(10) 8531-4000
Fax: +(86)(10) 8531-3300
BeijingACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General Chengdu

No. 4 Lingshiguan Road
Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC 610041