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 all official overseas and domestic travel. These orders affect civilian military employees, as well as service members and families.

How do the travel restrictions apply to Department of Defense civilians?

Movement restrictions are in effect for domestic travel until May 11, 2020, and for overseas travel for 60 days beginning March 25. 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 and temporary duty assignments, exercises, deployments, redeployments and other global force management activities (Check with your supervisor if you are in the middle of a relocation or if your TDY is due to end during the stop movement period.)
  • All other government-funded leave, including renewal agreement travel by civilian employees (If you are already on leave, contact your supervisor for further directions.)

Authorized exceptions to the travel bans include:

  • Travel by patients and medical providers for purposes of medical treatment for Department of Defense personnel and their families
  • Scheduled deployments/redeployments of U.S. Navy vessels and embarked units that are in transit for 14 days and meet restriction-of-movement requirements for current force health-protection guidance
  • Individuals who have already initiated travel
  • Individuals whose TDY ends while the bans are in effect may return to their home station

Case-by-case exceptions to the ban may include:

  • Travel essential to the mission
  • Travel necessary for humanitarian reasons
  • Travel warranted due to extreme hardship

How the restrictions affect hiring

The Department of Defense has changed its hiring practices to help keep our communities safe. Open positions in the United States will be filled only by candidates who live within commuting distance.

If you must travel

For travel that is essential to the mission or necessary for other reasons, the Department of Defense is:

  • Prescreening 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 a country the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates as Alert Level 3. 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 overseas.
  • Self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Take your temperature twice a day.
  • Practice social distancing — stay at last 6 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.