Some federal employees are questioning the impact of many states and localities reimposing travel restriction due to the resurgence of Coronavirus cases—commonly, requiring quarantine periods for persons arriving from other areas with high rates.

OPM policy is unchanged since a statement issued in mid-April during the first wave of restrictions of the sort that in many cases were eased in May and June but that in some places now are being reimposed—or imposed for the first time. In its entirety, it reads:


“The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has received numerous requests for guidance regarding recent travel restrictions, orders and instructions issued by state and local governments in response to COVID-19, including whether those restrictions apply to federal employees when traveling to and from their 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.

“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.”

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2020 Federal Employees Handbook