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PCS Moves in a COVID-19 Environment

Current as of Nov. 17, 2021

Protect your health while moving

Learn about five measures you can take while moving during the current pandemic.

The Defense Department relocates about 325,000 personal-property shipments for service members, DOD civilians and their families each year across the globe. The department is committed to making these permanent change-of-station moves safe — especially during the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak. Protecting people takes top priority.

Whether you are PCSing inside or outside of the continental United States, the DOD has safety measures in place to empower you and your family and make your move safe.

Below, you’ll find answers to questions about safe PCSing. Understanding of COVID-19 is rapidly changing, so continue to check our Coronavirus Updates for Our Military Community page for updates.

Once you have the go-ahead to move, you can take your orders to your local transportation office to begin scheduling your move. You can also start this process yourself online via the Defense Personal Property System. Once your move has been identified in the scheduling system, you will also receive an email and handouts about COVID-19 safety measures. Your moving company will contact you to finalize details and answer questions. See the Personal Property Quick Reference Guide for general information.

The DOD’s safety measures require your moving company to verify to you in writing that your movers have had screenings for illness. These meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 guidelines. Crews then must follow CDC guidance. This includes:

  • Following social distancing by limiting the people in your residence
  • Wearing face coverings
  • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces
  • Maintaining good hand hygiene

The DOD started the measures in April 2020. This included steps members should take to protect themselves during moves. It started requiring moving companies to provide written notice of health screenings on May 1, 2020. DOD representatives also started verifying that movers are following all safety protocols. The department will continually review and refine guidance to stay in line with CDC recommendations and respond to feedback.

Call your local transportation office or service headquarters right away for help. Look for the numbers in your email or on Military OneSource. You and your family have the right to tell the movers to stop until issues get settled — even if it means the company has to reschedule. A DOD representative will also contact you to verify that your moving company is following all safety protocols. If there is an issue, swift corrective action will take place.

Actions range from simple, spot corrections to ensure personnel are properly wearing face coverings to removing personnel who do not follow protocols. Companies that cannot consistently follow protocols may be suspended from the program. Most, however, have been superb partners.

Under the new safety measures, you can decide who comes into your residence. You can question movers about following CDC protocols. You can stop the move at any point. You don’t have to compromise your safety to meet a moving company’s timeline. You can reschedule. If you are uncomfortable at any time during the household goods pack-out or delivery process, tell your service provider and local transportation office. You can also tell your chain of command.

USTRANSCOM has directed moving companies to screen their personnel consistent with CDC guidelines before showing up at a family’s residence. TSPs will provide certification in writing that this screening has taken place upon arrival. They have also directed that moving companies follow common-sense protocols. Simple, but effective measures, like using smaller crews to enable distances, wearing face coverings, cleaning commonly touched surfaces, and simply practicing good hand hygiene are health protocols that are required of the moving personnel that come to your home.

You and your family must comply with CDC protocols and installation guidelines for your own and the movers’ protection. Expect to:

  • Limit family members in the residence when movers are there, or choose a room where they can stay.
  • Wear face coverings.
  • Notify your transportation office and moving company to reschedule your move if anyone in your family is ill or advised to self-quarantine.

Use the Military Installations website to find the phone number for your installation’s housing office or Military and Family Support Center.

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