The Pentagon has issued new guidance for local commanders in states where stay-at-home orders are beginning to relax, according to a memo released Wednesday.
Since late March, all military installations globally have been in partial lockdown after Defense Secretary Mark Esper raised the Defense Department’s (DOD) global health protection level to its second-highest setting. The freeze — which prohibited nonessential travel for DOD personnel and families and limited access to bases — was intended to stem increasing coronavirus cases among service members.
A May 19 memo now lays out a guideline for local commanders to relax certain restrictions as COVID-19 cases decline in their areas.
“Commanders, in consultation with their medical leadership, shall exercise their authority by making deliberate, risk-based decisions to change [health protection] levels as conditions allow,” according to the memo signed by Esper.
Installations must still follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force guidance and regulations.