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OPM has said that travel restrictions, orders and instructions issued by state and local governments in response to the Coronavirus pandemic do not prevent federal employees from traveling to and from their official duty stations.

“OPM, in consultation with the Department of Justice, has determined that none of the orders issued to date restrict the ability of federal employees from any travel necessary to perform official functions deemed essential by their employers. OPM recommends that federal agencies continue to follow staffing plans that have been adopted consistent with previous COVID-19 guidance issued by OMB and OPM,” a statement posted on opm.gov/coronavirus says.


“Federal employees should continue to carry appropriate federal identification (such as a CAC or PIV card) when traveling on Federal business and report to appropriate supervisors if there has been a travel issue with local law enforcement,” it adds.

OPM also posted guidance on provisions of a recently enacted virus relief law (the “CARES Act”) allowing agencies to waive normal biweekly limits on premium pay for work “primarily related to the preparation, prevention, or response to COVID-19.” It is up to the agency to decide which forms of additional compensation qualify as premium pay for that purpose and annual caps on basic pay and total compensation still apply, it says.

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