Statement by the Department of Defense on domestic travel restrictions


WASHINGTON – Today, the Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist approved new travel restrictions for service members, Department of Defense civilians, and their families assigned to DoD installations, facilities and surrounding areas within the United States and its territories. This restriction will halt all domestic travel, including permanent change of station and temporary duty. This restriction will also pause civilian hiring at DoD installations and components for persons who do not reside within the hiring entity's local commuting area.

Additionally, service members will be authorized local leave only, following service guidelines. This new guidance is effective March 16 and continues through May 11.

Similar to other travel guidance regarding COVID-19, travel exceptions may be granted for compelling cases where the travel is mission-essential, for humanitarian reasons, or warranted due to extreme hardship. Approval authority for these exceptions belongs to combatant commanders, the service secretaries, the chief management officer, or the director of the Joint Staff, but may be delegated.

The Department will continue to issue additional guidance with regard to the COVID-19 as conditions warrant. Our goal is to remain ahead of the virus spread so our military force remains effective and ready.

For more information on the CDC travel restrictions, visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/.

All DoD personnel are encouraged to visit https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/ for information on staying healthy during the outbreak. The Department will issue follow-on guidance on this directive prior to implementation.

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