China Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
May 07, 2003
This Travel Warning is being revised to inform U.S. citizens of updated
requirements of the government of China for anyone exhibiting Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome or SARS-like symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of State continue to recommend U.S.
citizens consider deferring non-essential travel to China because of SARS
concerns. This supersedes the Travel Warning of April 16, 2003.
As a precautionary measure due to the SARS situation, in early April, the
Department of State authorized the departure, on a voluntary basis, of
non-emergency employees and all family members at the U.S. Embassy in
Beijing and the U.S. Consulates General in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and
Shenyang. The Embassy and all Consulates General remain open to provide the
full range of services to American citizens and the general public. The
Department of State also alerts Americans to China's current practices with
respect to SARS. These are subject to change. Authorities in some areas
have announced stringent new quarantine measures, which could result in the
isolation of large numbers of people or entire neighborhoods. Inspection
teams conduct health checks at the airports, railway stations, long-distance
bus terminals and highway checkpoints. SARS related restrictions on
internal travel and even international border closings have been announced
and are subject to change on a daily basis. Any individual in China,
including foreigners, who displays SARS-related symptoms may be sent to a
designated hospital until the SARS' contagious phase has passed. In some
locations the patient may not be able to receive visitors, including his/her
own doctor or family members.
All of these factors, in addition to continuing uncertainties about how SARS
is spread and concerns about obtaining suitable medical care and/or
evacuating those who contract SARS, led to the Department's decision to
authorize the voluntary departure of official non-emergency employees and
all family members from China.
The CDC recommends U.S. citizens defer elective or non-essential travel to
areas with a large number of SARS cases, including Mainland China. U.S.
citizens resident or traveling in these areas should closely monitor the
website of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at
http://www.cdc.gov and the website of the World Health Organization at
http://www.who.int for the latest information on SARS.
For further information on travel to China, U.S. citizens should also
consult the Consular Information Sheets for China and the SARS Public
Announcement at http://travel.state.gov.