Army Launches PCS Travel Hotline
The Army has set up a 24-hour hotline for soldiers and families affected by travel restrictions put in place to try and contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The hotline, 1-888-276-9472, aims to help soldiers and families whose permanent change-of-station moves from overseas locations have been halted or affected.
“Force health protection is the Army’s top priority,” the service said in a statement. “Protecting the force includes mitigating the spread of the virus and ensuring personnel have the most up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent potential spread of COVID-19.”
Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced travel restrictions for service members, Defense Department civilians and families traveling to, from or through Level 3 locations as designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The restrictions, announced March 11, are effective March 13 and will be in place for 60 days.
Level 3 locations are those the CDC warns to avoid nonessential travel. They include South Korea, China, Iran and almost 30 countries in Europe.
The restrictions include all forms of travel, including permanent change-of-station moves, temporary duty and government-funded leave. For service members, it also includes personal leave and other non-official travel.
In addition, for the next 60 days, concurrent official travel to Level 2 locations for families of service members and civilian personnel is denied.
The CDC calls for travelers to practice enhanced precautions when traveling to Level 2 countries. The sustained spread of the COVID-19 virus led the CDC to issue a global Level 2 outbreak notice on March 11.
For the next 60 days, the military also will implement enhanced health care protocols for traveler safety and transition to the use of military or contracted aircraft for required travel to Level 2 or 3 locations, the Pentagon announced.
All DoD personnel returning after traveling from, to or through Level 2 or 3 countries also will have to undergo screening and spend 14 days self-monitoring at home. The policy will be reviewed after 60 days, officials said.
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