Armed Forces News

San Diego, May 29 2020: A Sailor assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) has his temperature checked as he returns to the ship as part of the Navy’s aggressive response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In order to be cleared to return to the ship, Sailors must have received two separate negative test results. Kidd arrived in San Diego April 28 to receive medical care for its Sailors and clean and disinfect the ship following a COVID-19 outbreak while underway. (US Navy photo by MC 2nd Class Alex Millar)

The Defense Department has ended key elements of its Coronavirus-related travel restrictions that had been in place since April 20.

Service members, DoD civilians and family members still must refrain from domestic and international travel at government expense. Exceptions include states where travel and shelter-in-place restrictions have been removed, and 14-day trajectories for COVID-19 and flu-like symptoms and positive tests have moved in a downward trajectory.

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Each service would determine the feasibility of further travel-restriction relaxation on installations that are based on availability of schools, childcare and moving services and favorable health-protection conditions, as well as local policies. There should be adequate capacity in local hospitals and clinics, sufficient testing equipment, and the ability to quarantine or isolate sick people when necessary.

Each U.S. state or territory that has met the criteria for relaxing travel restrictions will have to publish its change in status. If and when new COVID-19 breakouts occur, they would have to undergo assessments in the specific locales where they occur.

Exemptions to restrictions include travel:

· By military personnel that is related to recruitment or accessions.

· By patients who require medical treatment, and their escorts and attendants.

· For global-force-management activities.

· By personnel who are awaiting transportation after having left their prior duty station due to a permanent-change-of-station move, or who have already begun such travel. They can proceed to their final destination, as long as they carry approved orders.

· For service members whose TDY (temporarily away from duty) ends while the directive is in effect. They, too, can proceed to permanent duty station.

· For personnel who are assigned to assist the transportation mission. This would include air and vessel crews, mission-essential personnel who are on prepare-to-deploy orders, air refueling, global patient movement, mortuary affairs support, inland surface, sea and air sustainment missions, and other movements in support of U.S. Transportation Command’s mission requirements.

· For personnel moving under authority of a Chief of Mission. This would include people who move from a locale because of an order issued by the State Department.

· For personnel who need to get to or from professional military education programs.

· For civilians taking part in “formal, entry-level civilian accession programs,” to include government-sponsored fellowships and internships.

· For civilian employees who must meet overseas tour rotation agreement requirements.

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