FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) – On December 1, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a status update for COVID-19 travel restrictions across all of its installations. At the time of the update, travel restrictions remained lifted for the Fort Drum military base and all its servicemembers.
Fort Drum soldiers and families can still travel for the holidays this year. For travel restrictions to be lifted, Fort Drum had to meet installation criteria, meaning that there were no local travel restrictions, there were essential services available, and quality assurance in place for movers.
This also had to be approved by the Director of Administration and Management, the Secretary of a Military Department, or a Combatant Commander. As stated by Fort Drum officials, this allows all vaccinated servicemembers and families to travel regardless of risk levels.
Risks for travel are based on levels of community transmission for the coronavirus. These are assessed in four categories: “high,” “substantial,” “moderate” and “low.” Some restrictions do remain in place, however, for unvaccinated servicemembers.
For unvaccinated personnel, company-level commanders are authorized to approve travel to any county that has low or moderate levels of community transmission. Battalion-level commanders are authorized to approve travel to those counties with substantial or high levels of community transmission, or to international destinations.
Unvaccinated service members must also receive approval from the first O-5 in their chain of command and will be required to quarantine for ten days to meet with, or reside with any unvaccinated visitor or family member from an international location or from a U.S. county rated as “substantial” or “high,” starting with the first day of contact.
During the height of the pandemic, soldiers were restricted from traveling outside a designated radius, as well as visiting nearby states and counties with high rates of COVID-19. Soldiers were also restricted from using commercial airlines.
As of December 22, travel restrictions imposed by the DoD were lifted for 208 of 230 installations, or 90% of installations across the world. Of the installations with lifted travel restrictions this week, one was reinstated and none lifted restrictions.