More Air Force, Army installations lift pandemic travel restrictions
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.
WASHINGTON — Another eight military installations have lifted their travel restrictions put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the number of installations without these restrictions for personnel to 102, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
Five Air Force bases and three Army installations had lifted their restrictions as of Monday, according to the Pentagon’s document that shows the latest status on travel restrictions for 231 military installations around the world.
Travel restrictions were put in place in March to try to prevent the spread of the virus among Defense Department personnel and their families. Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memorandum May 22 that laid out the conditions needed for locations to allow for travel to and from bases.
Installations have to meet specific criteria in order to have the travel restrictions lifted, including a health protection condition less than “Charlie” and availability of essential services, according to the Pentagon.
The five Air Force installations that lifted their restrictions this week are: Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Last week, Kirtland had to reinstate its travel restrictions after they had been lifted Aug. 10. The base is located in Bernalillo County, which has had the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.
The three Army installations that have lifted their travel restrictions as of Monday are: Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, Fort Custer Training Center in Michigan and Fort Detrick in Maryland.
Fort Drum in New York also was reported by the Pentagon as having lifted travel restrictions, however Valerie Schneider, a spokeswoman for Fort Drum, stated Thursday that the restrictions are still in place.
No installations had to reinstate their travel restrictions this week, according to the Pentagon.