- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Department of Defense is halting all domestic travel for military members, civilian employees and their families in a bid to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

The sweeping restrictions, announced late Friday, cover all travel, including temporary duty and permanent change of assignments.

“Our goal is to remain ahead of the virus spread so our military force remains effective and ready,” Pentagon officials said in a statement.

Service members will only be authorized local leave under the new measure, officials said.

The restriction also will suspend civilian hirings at all Defense Department agencies for anyone who doesn’t live within local commuting distance of the installation, Pentagon officials said.

The new order comes into effect on Monday and will continue through May 11, 2020, Pentagon officials said.

Travel exceptions may be granted for “compelling cases” for humanitarian reasons, mission-essential travel, or where an exception is warranted due to “extreme hardship,” officials said.

Approval for an exception can be authorized by a combatant commander, secretary of one of the armed services, or director of the Joint Staff, officials said.

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