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59 of 62 US Navy bases are in COVID-19 travel lockdowns

Sailor delivers packet of masks to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Olivia Banmally Nichols)
December 31, 2020

The Pentagon released a list of U.S. military bases currently under COVID-19 related travel restrictions, and 59 of the Navy’s 62 bases are currently restricted.

The Stars and Stripes reported the Navy has been reinstating travel restrictions amid surges in coronavirus infections. The three Navy bases without travel restrictions are Naval Station Rota in Spain, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

The travel restrictions are part of an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between military bases. The restrictions have slowed the ability of service members and their families to move between duty stations since the policy went into effect with a May 22 memorandum from then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Along with the list of travel restricted installations, the DoD states bases must be able to provide quality assurance to movers and waivers are required for service members moving between bases if either base has travel restictions in place.

The Navy has the highest ratio of installations still under travel restrictions. The Army is the second most restricted branch with 28 of its 68 installations have lifted travel restrictions. 45 of the U.S. Air Force’s 80 installations have lifted travel restrictions. The U.S. Marine Corps has the highest ratio of installations with unrestricted travel, with restrictions lifted at 14 of its 17 installations.

Currently, 91 of the 231 U.S. military installations have lifted travel restrictions, about 39 percent.

The U.S. military saw a COVID-era high of 153 out of 231 military installations, about 66 percent, with lifted travel restrictions on Nov. 4. Since that peak, the number of military installations with unrestricted travel has dropped back down to the current 91, with dozens of bases reinstating restrictions.

The list of 231 military installations includes four more DoD facilities, including the Pentagon and three Defense Finance and Accounting Services centers. The Pentagon is the only one of the four DoD facilities without travel restrictions in place.

Currently, there have been 105,871 COVID-19 cases among U.S. troops. In addition to the 14 that have died, 931 are hospitalized while 68,049 have since recovered.

Among civilian DoD personnel, there have been 29,582. 116 have died, while 866 are hospitalized and 15,985 have recovered.

DoD dependents account for 16,984 DoD COVID-19 cases. Nine dependents have died while 208 are hospitalized and 10,626 have recovered.

DoD contractors have recorded 10,327 COVID-19 cases, of which 41 have died, while 313 are hospitalized and 6,191 have recovered.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has recorded about 19.8 million COVID-19 cases, with more than 343,000 deaths.

The DoD has been overseeing Operation Warp Speed, the plan to rapidly develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine, and U.S. military personnel have been among the first to be vaccinated.