The U.S. State Department is weighing whether to authorize departures for American diplomats and their families in China who wish to leave due to the U.S. government’s inability to prevent Chinese authorities from subjecting them to intrusive pandemic control measures, sources told Reuters.
Two sources familiar with the issue said the U.S. Embassy on Monday had sent the request to Washington for formal sign off, as China ramps up COVID-19 containment protocols ahead of the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics in less than two weeks.
The sources, speaking to Reuters on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, added that some embassy staff are upset the U.S. government has been unwilling or unable to exempt American officials from strict quarantine measures.
The rules include possible forced admittance to COVID fever clinics and separation from children.
The State Department told Reuters in a statement on Tuesday the operating status at its embassy and consulates in China had not changed.