New general order allows international travel for Army personnel in Rheinland-Pfalz
By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 19, 2020
Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Some Army personnel in Germany can once again travel internationally after a general order issued Friday by the 21st Theater Sustainment Command lifted more coronavirus restrictions.
But the loosening of travel restrictions applies only to service members assigned to U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz, and their cross-border trips remain limited to a list of around two dozen European countries, says the order signed by 21st TSC commander, Maj. Gen. Christopher Mohan.
Unofficial travel to the U.S. remains off limits, it says.
While the general order applies to soldiers, Army civilians, family members and other affiliated personnel in the 21st TSC’s area of responsibility, the travel limitations apply only to service members, the command said.
“For civilians, as long as they’re adhering to the rules, laws and restrictions to whatever country they’re traveling to, there are no limitations,” said command spokesman Army Master Sgt. Dan Bailey.
All other military personnel under Mohan’s authority must seek approval “for all leave, pass and other unofficial travel” across international borders, the order says. This includes personnel in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Kosovo.
Command personnel and their families can also frequent off-base businesses, including gyms and bars, provided they are authorized to open by the host nation and are abiding by rules to curb the coronavirus, the order says.
Under the order, social gatherings can now involve more than two households, but personnel must adhere to host-nation guidance when determining how many families may come together, Bailey said.
The list of countries service members assigned to USAG Rheinland-Pfalz may travel to are Iceland, Greece, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Belgium, Norway, Croatia, Finland, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Spain, Ireland, Montenegro, Denmark, Luxembourg, Latvia, Switzerland, Italy, Estonia, Austria, Lichtenstein, Lithuania and Slovakia.
The list will be updated as conditions change in those and other countries, Bailey said.
A boat plies an Amsterdam canal in April 2015. Personnel assigned to U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland Pfalz may travel internationally but only to about 25 countries in Europe, a new general order from 21st TSC says.
MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES