The Pentagon has released an updated list of locations, both stateside and overseas, that meet the Defense Department’s conditions to lift travel restrictions, officials said in a news release Monday.
The list follows a May 22 memo signed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper that approved the move to a conditions-based, phased approach to personnel movement and travel.
Thirty-nine states and five host nations meet the conditions to lift travel restrictions, subject to the assessment of conditions at individual military installations within these areas, the DoD’s release stated.
The criteria used to determine whether a location is approved for travel included whether local shelter-in-place orders have been lifted, whether there has been a 14-day downward trend of either flu-like or COVID-like symptom reports, and whether there has been a similar two-week downward trend in confirmed diagnoses of COVID-19.
States, districts and territories will be evaluated based on the Opening Up America Again plan, using data from the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease and Prevention, as well as input from the military services and combatant commands.
Installations are being assessed continuously, according to the May 22 memo, and cleared for movement based on local travel restrictions, availability of services (like schools and childcare), quality control for movement of household goods and a relaxed health protection condition.
“The secretaries of the military departments, commanders of the combatant commands, and the chief management officer will assess specific DOD installations, facilities, or locations under their purview,” the DoD release stated.
There are still listed exemptions to the Pentagon’s stop-movement order, which was first instituted in March. Those exemptions include travel for recruiting, combatant command-requested deployments and travel for necessary medical treatment.
For situations that fall outside of these parameters, troops can apply for waivers in cases of mission-essential travel, or because of extreme hardship or humanitarian concerns.
Kyle Rempfer was an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.