Q1. Why is this being done?
A1. We recognize the need to restart travel so that Sailors can move and conduct personal business in an unrestricted manner. The Secretary of Defense wants to do that safely and using data that will prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases. This plan is conditions-based, and we feel it best serves our fleet and keeps them safe.
Q2. Some people seem to be facing hardship with the stop movement – are waivers available for people who might have recently sold their homes?
A2. This policy is meant to protect our force, but we have instituted appropriate mechanisms to ensure that families and Sailors who may be in hardship have a way to get to their next duty station. We are encouraging Sailors at all levels to work with their chain of command. Waivers to the travel restrictions remain in effect as when we initially stopped all movement in March. The criteria is as follows: 1) Determined to be mission-essential, 2) Necessary for humanitarian reasons, or 3) Warranted due to extreme hardship. Again, we want to make sure every single Sailor and family member is taken care of in this uncertain time.
Q3. Who is determining green or red status?
A3. We have a team of experts in place to closely monitor this situation and will be using COVID-19 special data collection technology to make assessments. We are also taking direct input from our local installation commanders. They are the true eyes and ears on the ground, and we respect their assessment to how local conditions are progressing. They are also ensuring that we have critical services like childcare and available moving companies before we lift restrictions. We want to ensure the health of our force before making a “green” determination.
Q4. Now that is conditions based, does this mean I can now take leave without the first flag officer approval?
A4. Sailors can take leave without flag officer approval only if the area they are in and the area they are going to both reflect green. Even in those cases, it still remains up to the commanding officers and officers-in-charge to ensure the safety of the Sailor. We’re asking leaders to be extra diligent in validating trip plans. We want to allow commanding officers to approve leave but want to make sure it is safe first to do so.
Q5. When can we hold conferences again?
A5. All conferences and other similar events will be held virtually until an area transitions out of stop movement status as detailed in the most recent update NAVADMIN (168/20). We’re not in a race to start conferences back up again, particularly given Centers for Disease Control guidance to keep event gatherings at a minimum. Our force has adapted to a virtual world, and we want to continue to maximize use of these technologies to stay connected.
Q6. What are some of the conditions that go into the factor of “green?”
A6. Conditions to resume unrestricted travel rest on two overarching factors: (1) state and/or regional criteria, and (2) installation-level criteria based on conditions in and surrounding DoD installations, facilities, and locations. We want to align with existing conditions at the state/region level while empowering installation commanders to ensure the battlespace is postured to resume unrestricted movement. This two-factor approach meets that aim.
Q7. How is “mission essential” travel defined and will I be able to PCS?
A7. Mission-essential travel refers to work that must be performed to ensure the continued operations of mission-essential functions, including positions that are deemed key and essential. Your best bet is to check with your detailer and your gaining command. If the unit you are going to is deploying, for instance, you will likely proceed forward.
Q8. Where can Sailors find more information concerning COVID-19/all-stop guidance?
A8. Navy military members and their families who have questions regarding COVID-19 guidance or entitlements associated with stop movement should contact the MyNavy Career Center (1-833-330-6622) or emailAskMNCC@navy.mil. Detailers are ready to support all order modifications and commands should work with their placement officers. Navy civilians should work with their local human resources office.