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Air Force details how coronavirus travel restrictions will affect airmen

The Air Force Personnel Center on Friday detailed how the Defense Department’s 60-day stop movement order to areas facing serious coronavirus outbreaks will affect airmen.

The movement restrictions cover all types of official travel, including permanent changes of station, temporary duty, and government-funded leave for uniformed and civilian personnel, and include personal leave and other non-official travel for uniformed personnel, AFPC said.

The restrictions cover locations that have a Level 3 travel health notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including most of Europe, South Korea, China and Iran, AFPC said. The CDC’s list of travel advisories can be found here.

For airmen facing a PCS move to or from Level 3 countries:

* Airmen currently assigned to a base in the continental United States with a projected PCS to a Level 3 country, who have outprocessed, but have NOT left the area for a Level 3 country will remain in place until the stop movement order is ended.

A soldier supervises the delivery and unpacking of her household items May 11 on Wheeler Army Airfield. (Army)
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With the Defense Department’s Thursday announcement that all PCS and temporary duty moves are on hold for the next 60 days, members of all four services are finding themselves in the same predicament, relying on emergency relief funds and unit-by-unit authorizations of per diem to cover their costs while they wait.

* Airmen currently assigned to an overseas base in a Level 3 country, with a projected PCS and a Date Estimated Return from Overseas, or DEROS, in March 2020, who have NOT departed, will remain in place until the stop movement order is ended.

* Airmen who are PCSing to or from an installation in a Level 3 country, and have departed their last duty installation and are en route to their next base, must contact the chain of command and military personnel flight/force support squadron from the base they just left by any means possible. These airmen WILL NOT proceed until they receive further guidance from AFPC, coordinated through their military personnel flight.

* If an airman in a Level 3 country has an approved separation or retirement in the next 60 days, they are exempt from the stop movement order. But those airmen have to follow transit and screening guidance outlined in the DoD’s March 11 travel guidance memo.

For airmen on TDY or leave to or from Level 3 countries:

* Airmen who are projected to TDY to one of those countries will NOT proceed. Airmen who are en route, or currently at, a location in one of those countries must remain there until receiving further guidance, or until the stop movement order is ended.

A U.S. Navy sailor assigned to a Naples command hundreds of miles south of Lombardy also tested positive for the virus. (Andrew Medichini/AP)
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Effective Friday, all troops, military civilian employees and family members traveling to or from locations with widespread transmission of the illness, designated “Warning Level 3” (which at the moment include Italy, South Korea and China) will “stop movement” for the next 60 days.

* Airmen who are currently on leave in an affected area will stay there until they receive further guidance from their chain of command and military personnel flight. When they return to their home station, their leave dates and duty status code will be adjusted to make sure they are not inappropriately charged for additional leave.

Other situations:

* Airmen who are affected by this guidance, with a projected PCS from a Level 3 country, will have their DEROS extended 60 days.

* Airmen who are affected by this guidance and require a “report not later than date” extension will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

AFPC said that it will release additional travel guidance as it becomes available, and airmen with further questions should contact their chain of command or local military personnel flight.

The Total Force Service Center will be handling calls around the clock at 800-525-0102.

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