WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department has authorized the departure of family members and all non-emergency U.S. government employees at the American embassy in Beijing and consulates in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenyang due to the coronavirus outbreak, a department representative said on Thursday.

“The Department of State made the decision to put the U.S. Embassy and Consulates General on authorized departure status out of an abundance of caution related to logistical disruptions stemming from restricted transportation and availability of appropriate health care related to the novel coronavirus,” the representative said in a statement.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Sandra Maler)