Concerns Over Coronavirus Spread Spurs Department of Defense Travel Cuts
The continuing spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted travel restrictions for domestic Department of Defense (DoD) travel, according to a memorandum from the Deputy Secretary of Defense released on Friday.
The full memorandum is available below:
“These restrictions are necessary to preserve force readiness, limit the continuing spread of the virus, and preserve the health and welfare of Service members, DoD civilian employees, their families, and the local communities in which we live.
This memorandum applies to all DoD military and civilian personnel and their families assigned to DoD installations, facilities, and surrounding areas in the United States and its territories. All DoD military personnel will stop movement while this memorandum is in effect. In addition, DoD civilian personnel and DoD family members, whose transportation is government-funded, will also stop movement. This policy applies to Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and Temporary Duty. Additionally, until the domestic travel restrictions prescribed above are lifted, DoD Components may only onboard civilian employees within the local commuting area, and military members are only authorized local leave in accordance with Service policies.
A travel exception may be granted in writing to the guidance contained herein for compelling cases where the travel is: (1) determined to be mission-essential; (2) necessary for humanitarian reasons; or (3) warranted due to extreme hardship. Mission-essential travel refers to work that must be performed to ensure the continued operations of mission-essential functions, as determined by the DoD Component. Approval authority for these exceptions belongs to the Combatant Commander if the individual is assigned to a combatant command; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff if the individual is assigned to the Joint Staff; the Secretary of the Military Department concerned for personnel under his or her jurisdiction; or the Chief Management Officer for the Office of the Secretary for Defense, Defense Field Activities and Agencies. This authority may be delegated in writing to a level no lower than the first general officer, flag officer, or member ofthe Senior Executive Service in the traveler’s chain of command or supervision. These exceptions are to be done on a case by case basis, shall be limited in number, and shall be coordinated between the gaining and losing organizations, as appropriate.ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD
Travel by patients and medical providers for the purpose of medical treatment for DoD personnel and their family members is authorized. Individuals who have already initiated travel (including intermediate stops) are authorized to continue to their final destination. Individuals whose TDY ends while this memorandum is in effect are authorized to return to their home station. Individuals pending retirement or separation during this period are exempt. Authorized travelers will adhere to the Force Health Protection guidelines in reference (b) and later guidance, if any.ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD
Our understanding of COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, and this guidance will be continuously evaluated as conditions warrant. Component heads should ensure this stop movement guidance is clearly communicated. For overseas travel, refer to the Travel Restrictions for DoD Components in Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 memorandum dated March 11, 2020. This guidance is effective March 16, 2020, and expires May 11, 2020. The expiration aligns with the expiration date of reference (a), the Secretary ofDefense memorandum published on March 11, 2020.”