Question: Do we have any numbers on the increase in consular staffing at the London Embassy for the Olympics?
Answer: The U.S. Embassy in London and the State Department are doing everything we possibly can to ensure that U.S. citizen travelers are informed, and have a safe and enjoyable time in the United Kingdom. The State Department sent additional temporary staff to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in London starting in May to proactively process the heavy volume summer visa workload and routine American Citizen Services cases in advance of the Olympic Games. Temporary consular staff will remain throughout the Olympic Games so that the Embassy can provide extended hours for routine services to U.S. citizens as well as 24 hour service in case of emergency. With this temporary staff, we have increased the number of consular officers by more than 35 percent.
We have also sent Diplomatic Security (DS) agents to liaise with host nation security and law enforcement officials. This is standard operating procedure for large events like the Olympic Games in London, where thousands of U.S. citizens, athletes from Team USA, American corporate sponsors, and members of the U.S. media are present for an extended period of time.
The Embassy has set up an excellent web page for U.S. citizens traveling to London, and we also have a fact sheet available on http://travel.state.gov.