The Department of Defense on Monday announced that three U.S. states are prohibited for travel by its service members because of the constant spreading of COVID-19. Those do not include the recent flared-up hot spots of Texas and Arizona.
California, Florida and Michigan are now the three states that service members are not allowed to travel, whether it’s for leisure, temporary duty or a permanent change of station, the Military Times reported.
Coronavirus cases have climbed in those three states, therefore prompting the travel ban by U.S. military to those locales, whether for business or pleasure. Yet, Texas and Arizona have endured recent spikes in positive COVID-19 cases, but they’re still open for the business of travel, reports Newsweek.
In order for those three states to go from red status to green, they must show a decline in positive coronavirus cases for 14 days, and, in addition, they must show they have adequate hospital capacity in the event of a sudden uptick in cases.
Falling off the list are Minnesota and North Carolina, two sates that have now gone green for military members.
The list of banned states and territories was far more lengthy just a few weeks ago before the Pentagon lifted a travel ban to 39 states and five territories. That included lifting the ban on previous hotspots like New York, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Belgium, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. Texas and Arizona were lifted during that same time.
The Department of Defense issued a statement three weeks ago that said they would monitor other locations to determine if it’s safe enough for military travel.
“The secretaries of the military departments, commanders of the combatant commands, and the chief management officer will assess specific DOD installations, facilities, or locations under their purview,” the DoD stated.
The travel restrictions included necessary medical treatments, combat change of requests and recruiting.
Spikes in COVID-19 are not just hitting the general population, but they’ve also clipped the military. Just last weekend, another 1,100 service members tested positive for coronavirus, which is a 10 percent leap from the previous three days.
The military acknowledges that service members in places like Texas and Arizona add to the overall tally of positive cases in those hotspots, and the DoD stated Monday that more military testing leads to more positive cases.
“In general we are doing more testing, which can lead to more positive cases, which prompts more testing,” Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Malinda Singleton said. “Many of our installations are in current hotspots (Texas, Arizona, Florida), which is also leading to an increase in positive cases.”
As for Texas and Arizona, two states that have begun reversing their reopening methods, the military will evaluate them—as well as the three prohibited states—as to how it will approach its continued travel requirements.
“If installation conditions are subsequently not met, the approval authority decides if travel restrictions should be reinstated,” the Department of Defense stated.