Department of Defense Travel Restrictions Update


The Office of the Secretary of Defense announced a change lifting the stop movement order for some locations. Conditions to resume unrestricted travel rest on two overarching factors: 

  1. State and/or regional criteria based on the White House’s, "Opening Up America Again" guidelines.  

Using the White House's "Opening Up America Again" guidelines as a baseline, along with data and guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and inputs from the Services and Combatant Commands, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD (P&R)) will continuously assess each U.S. state, district, or territory and nations that host greater than 1,000 permanently assigned DoD personnel, for:

• Removal of shelter-in-place orders or other travel restrictions

• 14-day downward trajectory of flu-like and COVID-19-like symptoms; and

• 14-day downward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases or positive tests.

Any state, district, territory, or host nation that meets all three criteria shall be considered to permit movement to/from these areas.

  1. Installation-level criteria based on conditions in and surrounding DoD installations, facilities,and locations. 

The Secretaries of the Military Departments, Commanders of the Combatant Commands, and the Chief Management Officer will continuously assess each DoD installation, facility, or location under their purview for the feasibility of lifting travel restrictions. Decisions resulting from these assessments will be made in consultation with the Services who have installations in the local surrounding areas and will take into account the areas where installation personnel reside. Whether or not an installation is restricted for travel will be reported to the COVID-19 Task Force weekly, for placement into the ADV ANA environment. There are four factors that need to be reported:

• Removal of local travel restrictions;

• Availability of essential services (e.g., schools, childcare, moving services);

• Quality control/assurance capability for household goods packing and moving; and

• Favorable Health Protection Conditions (below HPCON C)

        o Sufficient Medical Treatment Facility capacity

        o Testing capability and capacity in accordance with the Department's tiered priority framework to include sentinel surveillance and for at-risk healthcare workers

        o The capacity to quarantine and/or isolate individuals returning from high exposure locations

Any installation, facility, or location that meets all of the criteria above shall be considered to permit movement to or from these areas.

The full memorandum can be found here.

Based on this change, we anticipate military moves will ramp back up very quickly, and want our members to be prepared for a robust peak season. 

Here are a couple of examples of scenarios AMSA members may encounter:   

      1. A service member is moving from a base in Texas to a base in Illinois. The base in Texas is open with no restrictions; but the state, county or base in Illinois remains restricted. The move won't be approved unless the waiver/exemption process implemented today is met.

       2. A move can proceed if a service member is going from a base in Texas to one in Georgia if both bases are open for business with no restrictions. 

AMSA will learn more on tomorrow's Peak Season Call. USTC may also publish an updated advisory today which may provide additional information on how this applies to the DP3 program.