Defense Secretary Mark Esper will extend the current Defense Department wide travel restrictions through June 30, a Pentagon official said Saturday.
The order will continue to stop the movement of most military forces and their families to new assignments around the world in order to get a better sense of testing forces for coronavirus.
In a telephone briefing with reporters, Matthew Donovan, under secretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, said the order will be effective on Monday. It was due to expire in May.
“Continuing these travel restrictions is necessary because of the global nature of the department of defense enterprise. We have service members stationed in all 50 states and in numerous foreign nations across the globe. While many areas in the United States may be on a positive trajectory, some areas and many nations are not,” Donovan said in the briefing. "Secretary Esper will maintain a continuous conditions based assessment of the Covid-19 pandemic and will formally review this policy every 15 days to determine if conditions allow travel to resume earlier than June 30."
Some context: In a briefing at the Pentagon earlier this week, Esper said the decision to allow more movements for troops and their families to new postings around the globe will be “driven by science by what the scientists and doctors are telling us about how this virus moves because protecting our people, protecting our communities will be task number one."