Defense Department orders domestic travel lockdown for service members

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The Defense Department late Friday halted all domestic travel for US-based service members, civilian employees and their families in response to the coronavirus.

It’s the strictest travel restrictions yet for the department.

On Wednesday, the DoD set a 30-day restriction on travel from the US to China, Italy, Iran and South Korea, again for service members, civilian employees and their families.

The domestic restrictions apply to all personnel assigned to DoD installations, facilities and surrounding areas in the US and its territories, according to a department memorandum.

Service members will be allowed local leave only, the memorandum states.

The restrictions also limit new civilian hires to people from “the local commuting area.”

Exemptions to all restrictions may be granted for “compelling cases,” the department said.

The restrictions expire on May 11.

“These restrictions are necessary to preserve force readiness, limit the continuing spread of the virus, and preserve the health and welfare of Service members, DoD civilian employees, their families, and the local communities in which we live,” the memo said.