US DoD to lift personnel travel restrictions imposed due to Covid-19

27 May 2020 (Last Updated May 27th, 2020 15:13)

US Defense Secretary Dr Mark Esper has signed a memo to lift the restrictions in place for personnel movement and travel.

US DoD to lift personnel travel restrictions imposed due to Covid-19
US DoD officials have signed a memo to lift the travel restrictions in place, moving into conditions-based phased approach for travel. Credit:  Marvin Lynchard, DoD.

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US Defense Secretary Dr Mark Esper has signed a memo to lift the restrictions in place for personnel movement and travel.

The stop-movement order, which was originally extended up to 30 June, was imposed in March to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

US Defense of Department (DoD) officials said that it will now move into a condition-based phased approach for personnel movement and travel.

US DoD Undersecretary of Defence for personnel and readiness Matthew Donovan said: “While the Covid-19 pandemic still presents an overall risk to our service members, civilians and their families, varying conditions across the nation warrant this transition to a tailored approach.

“Consideration of factors such as removal of shelter-in-place orders and a downward trend of new Covid-19 cases over the preceding 14 days will be used to make a determination for the resumption of movement between states, regions and nations.”

The travel limitations will resume based on two conditions. The first one will include the resumption of unrestricted travel in line with state and regional criteria.

The criteria are based on the guidelines issued by White House’s Opening Up America guidance and the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The other one includes assessment of installation-level conditions.

Donovan added: “This includes items such as whether there are local travel restrictions, sufficient capacity of medical treatment facilities or local hospitals, testing capability and capacity and the availability of essential services such as schools and childcare.

“These factors will be carefully considered before movement decisions are made.”