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Coronavirus effect: US advises citizens to avoid all international travel

PTI     March 20, 2020

The US has advised its citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of coronavirus and plan to return immediately.

Upgrading its Health Advisory to Level 4, the State Department said that in countries where commercial departure options remain available, American citizens who live in the US should arrange for immediate return to the country, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.

US citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel, the State Department said, adding that many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.

Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips, it said.

"If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe," said the advisory.

On March 14, the State Department authorised the departure of US personnel and family members from any diplomatic or consular post in the world who have determined they are at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19 or who have requested departure based on a commensurate justification.

These departures may limit the ability of US embassies and consulates to provide services to US citizens.

The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 210,300 people in at least 145 countries and over 9,000 people have died, more than half of them outside China, where the epidemic first began in Wuhan.

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