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U.S. orders non-emergency staff to leave Shanghai
Published on: 2022-04-13
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The U.S. has ordered non-emergency government staff to leave Shanghai, which is under a tight lockdown to contain a COVID-19 surge.
 

The State Department said the order announced late Monday is an upgrade from the "authorized" departure advisory last week that made the decision voluntary. The order covers non-emergency U.S. government employees at the consulate in Shanghai and their family members. Consular officers will remain on duty at the consulate.
 

"Our change in posture reflects our assessment that it is best for our employees and their families to be reduced in number and our operations to be scaled down as we deal with the changing circumstances on the ground," the announcement said.
 

The State Department also issued a series of advisories for Americans in Shanghai, including that they ensure they have a "sufficient supply of money, medication, food, and other necessities for your family in the event of sudden restrictions or quarantine."
 

Beijing responded angrily to last week's voluntary departure advisory, with Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian saying China was "strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to the U.S. side's groundless accusation against China's epidemic response."
 

In that announcement, the State Department advised Americans to reconsider traveling to China due to "arbitrary enforcement" of local laws and COVID-19 restrictions, particularly in Hong Kong, Jilin province and Shanghai. U.S. officials cited a risk of "parents and children being separated."

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