The U.S. State Department is warning Americans not to travel to China, issuing its most serious travel advisory one day after the World Health Organization declared the Wuhan coronavirus to be a global health emergency. The virus has spread to at least 22 countries, and more than 200 people in China have died.
Americans who are already in China “should consider departing using commercial means,” the State Department said Thursday night. The advisory for China now stands at “Level 4: Do Not Travel” — the same category the U.S. uses for Yemen, Libya and South Sudan.
Two major U.S. airlines are halting all flights to and from China’s mainland, citing the State Department advisory. American Airlines says its operations are now suspended and will remain on hold through March 27. Delta says it will stop flying to China after a final flight on Feb. 3, and it won’t resume operations until after April 30. Delta’s last return flight from China will take off on Feb. 5.
A number of other countries have issued similar travel warnings to their citizens, though many are focusing on Wuhan’s Hubei province, where most of the cases have occurred, rather than the entire Chinese mainland.