The United States told its citizens Thursday night "do not travel" to China, raising its advisory status to the highest level of alert because of the coronavirus epidemic.
In issuing a level four warning -- up from urging Americans to "reconsider" travel to China -- the State Department said it was acting after the World Health Organization declared the epidemic, which originated in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, an international emergency.
In an updated travel advisory, the department said any Americans in China now "should consider departing using commercial means."
It recalled that last week it had ordered the departure of all non-emergency US personnel and their family members from Wuhan."The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Hubei province," the advisory said.