Travel Guidance for Department of Defense Civilians

Current as of March 25, 2020


To limit the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 and to protect your health and well-being, the Department of Defense has restricted official overseas and domestic travel. Civilian military employees, as well as service members and families, are affected by these orders.

How do the travel restrictions apply to DoD civilians?

The stop movement order is in effect until May 11, 2020. Military contractors should check with their companies to learn how it affects them. For civilian employees and families, the order halts the following types of travel:

  • All official travel, including permanent change of station moves or temporary duty assignments – check with your supervisor if you are in the middle of a relocation or if your TDY is due to end before the stop movement order is lifted.
  • All other government-funded leave, including renewal agreement travel by civilian employees –if you are already on leave, contact your supervisor for further directions.

Exceptions to the ban may be granted for travel:

  • Essential to the mission
  • Necessary for humanitarian reasons
  • Warranted due to extreme hardship

Travel for medical treatment is allowed. Medical providers may also travel to treat military personnel or their families.

How the restrictions affect hiring

The DoD has changed their hiring practices to help keep our communities safe. Specifically:

  • Civilian positions will not be filled in Level 3 countries where COVID-19 is widespread. The Centers for Disease Control maintains a list of countries by risk level.
  • Only essential positions will be filled in all other overseas countries, designated Level 2. PCS moves will be allowed when necessary to fill these openings. Families will not be allowed to accompany civilian employees to Level 2 countries until the stop order is lifted.
  • Local hiring will continue in Level 2 locations.
  • Open positions in the United States will be filled by candidates who live within commuting distance only.

If you must travel

For travel that is essential to the mission or necessary for other reasons, the DoD is:

  • Pre-screening civilians and service members before travel to make sure they are healthy and least at risk of becoming severely ill from possible COVID-19 infection
  • Using military or contracted planes for overseas travel, when possible
  • Screening passengers for signs of illness before boarding military planes
  • Screening passengers who use commercial travel when they arrive at their military destination

Allowances may be authorized in certain situations in which COVID-19 affects travel in Level 3 countries. To learn more, see the COVID-19 Travel and Transportation Questions and Answers from the Defense Travel Management Office.

If you have traveled recently

We all play an important role in keeping our communities healthy and safe. Follow these steps if you have traveled recently:

  • Notify your supervisor or chain of command if you have recently returned from a Level 2 or 3 country.
  • Self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Take your temperature twice a day.
  • Practice social distancing – stay at last six feet from others after all travel, even domestic.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Call your doctor if you develop symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, coughing and shortness of breath.

Our understanding of COVID-19 is changing rapidly. Stay up to date by checking the Coronavirus Information for Our Military Community page for updates.