State Department elevates China travel advisory to 'Do Not Travel' due to coronavirus

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WASHINGTON — The State Department announced a warning on Thursday not to travel to China due to the recent coronavirus outbreak.

“Do not travel to China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China,” the alert states, noting that the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern earlier that day.

“Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China,” the alert stated. “Those currently in China should consider departing using commercial means.”

The news comes after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Thursday that the husband of an Illinois woman with Wuhan coronavirus is now infected with the illness — the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission in the United States.

The virus’ spread has placed nearly 60 million people under partial or full lockdown in Chinese cities for a week. The UK, US, Japan and several other countries are working to fly their citizens out of Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Hubei province.

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