DoD Unveils New Safety Measures for PCS Moves
The military is putting in place increased safety measures to protect troops and their families as it prepares for peak moving season during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced May 6.
The measures, effective immediately, were directed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper and are in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 protocols.
Much of DoD has been under a stop-movement order since mid-March, but about 12,500 troops and families received permission to move during that time, said Rick Marsh, director of the Defense Personal Property Program at U.S. Transportation Command. Another 30,000 service members and families have since received an exception to policy and are scheduled, as conditions allow, to move between now and June 30.
The stop-movement order is in place until June 30 unless Esper rescinds or extends it.
Under the new safety measures, movers must wear face coverings, clean frequently touched surfaces and sanitize their hands often while packing and moving household goods in a DoD member’s home. They also must minimize the number of movers in the house in order to meet social distancing requirements.
Transportation Command also is requiring companies to certify that movers have been screened for illness according to CDC guidelines for businesses and employers. Moving companies will provide the service member written certification of this screening upon arrival at the residence.
Under the new measures, service members can deny entry to moving personnel or question them about adhering to health protection protocols, officials said. They can also end the move and have it rescheduled for a later date if they feel the moving crew is compromising their safety.
“Moving is always stressful, and COVID only adds stress and uncertainty to the process,” Marsh said. “It’s important DoD families know they are empowered to make decisions on the spot and that they have a voice in the process.”
For more information on PCS moves or the new measures, click here.