Families getting off a plane

Understanding the Current State of Travel Restrictions

Current as of June 3, 2020


Testing and Surveillance for COVID-19

Learn about the DOD’s expanded testing for coronavirus disease 2019 and other measures to detect the disease early and stop its spread.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still a risk. Thankfully though, conditions are beginning to improve. That’s why the Department of Defense is changing its approach to personnel movement and travel. It is now reviewing local conditions by place. That dictates when to lift restrictions. This replaces previous broad restrictions until further notice. The DOD’s top priority is protecting its people. This phased, location-based approach will do just that. Read on to see how it works.

Two main factors determine when unrestricted travel can resume:

  • State and/or regional criteria using the White House’s Opening Up America Again guidelines
  • Installation-level factors

The undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness will continuously assess each U.S. state and territory and nations that host more than 1,000 permanently assigned DOD personnel for:

  • Removal of shelter-in-place orders or other travel restrictions
  • Drop, for 14 days, of flu-like and COVID-19 symptoms
  • Drop, for 14 days, of new COVID-19 cases or positive tests

Reviewing ongoing travel restrictions

Travel restrictions remain in place until localities meet the requirements above. They apply to DOD service members and their dependents, and DOD civilian personnel whose travel is government-funded and their dependents. Except for exemptions and waivers, the restrictions apply to:

  • Temporary duty travel
  • Government-funded leave travel
  • Permanent duty travel, including permanent change of station
  • Travel related to Department of State authorized/ordered departures
  • Personal leave and nonofficial travel for DOD service members outside the local area
  • Onboarding of civilian employees outside the local commuting area (unless the government is not funding the employees’ travel to the local commuting area)

Assessing installations, facilities and locations

The secretaries of the military departments and commanders of the combatant commands will continuously assess each DOD installation, facility or location for:

  • Removal of local travel restrictions
  • Availability of essential services including schools, child care and moving
  • Capability to perform quality control and assurance of household goods packing and movement
  • Favorable health-protection conditions
  • Capacity of medical treatment facilities
  • Capability of testing that meets the DOD’s priority tier
  • Capacity to isolate people returning from high-exposure locations

Understanding of COVID-19 continues to change, so check our Coronavirus Updates for Our Military Community page. Want to find the phone number for your installation’s housing office or Military and Family Support Center? Find those and more on MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, an online information directory for military installations worldwide. For updates and information specific to your location, visit your installation’s official website. You can also follow your installation’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram platforms.

For Department of Defense updates for the military community: