In yet another massive announcement highlighting the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic, the Defense Department halted all domestic travel for service members, DoD civilians and all families. Deputy Defense Secretary David L. Norquist signed the memorandum Sunday. The memo places the ban from now through May 11.
DoD Domestic Travel Ban Enacted
This move comes just days after the Defense Department halted all travel to, from and through highly-affected foreign countries. The new ban limits leave to authorized locally only, according to a DoD press release. The move comes after 10 service members tested positive for COVID-19. One DoD civilian and two contractors also tested positive for the virus. Additionally, eight DoD family members now reportedly have the virus, according to the release. The DoD currently possesses 13 laboratories capable of testing for the virus.
The new measures aim to prevent the spread of the virus. In that vein, the Pentagon raised the health protection condition to Bravo within its building and associated properties. The Pentagon cancelled all tours of the building. Additionally, vast numbers of employees now telework to minimize risk. Even Pentagon officials face additional scrutiny if they’ve been to countries identified as a potential risk by the CDC.
“We are also restricting the access of Pentagon officials who have been overseas in one of the CDC-defined Level 3 or 2 countries,” the release explained.
CDC Level 3 Countries
China, Iran, South Korea, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City.
The Defense Department will require all personnel returning from Level 3 countries to self-isolate. The isolation period will last 14 days, to help ensure minimizing additional risk to the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19.
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