Amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the Department of Defense has banned all travel within the United States and its territories for its military members, Department of Defense civilian employees and their families, according to a statement from government officials on Friday.
The new restriction “will halt all domestic travel, including Permanent Change of Station, and Temporary Duty” to those living at or serving on military properties as well as limit service members to local leave only from March 16 through to May 11, the Department of Defense said.
“Similar to other travel guidance regarding COVID-19, travel exceptions may be granted for compelling cases where the travel is mission-essential, for humanitarian reasons, or warranted due to extreme hardship,” the statement read.
“The Department will continue to issue additional guidance with regard to the COVID-19 as conditions warrant. Our goal is to remain ahead of the virus spread so our military force remains effective and ready.”
John Moore/Getty Images U.S. Army soldier
“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Trump, 73, said addressing the U.S. from the Oval Office on Wednesday. “These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings.”
Trump added that the restrictions will not apply to the United Kingdom. The travel restrictions will also not apply to legal permanent residents and immediate family members of U.S. citizens.
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"We can confirm that this was in no way a medical situation," United Airlines said in a tweet of the situation
In a press conference on Friday, Trump declared a national emergency — “two very big words” — as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the nation and the rest of the world. He said that declaration would unlock about $50 billion in emergency funds that the federal government can use to further support efforts to combat the coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease.
As of March 13, there have been at least 2,110 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 48 deaths in the U.S., according to The New York Times.
Several states have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding, and public schools in Ohio, Maryland, New Mexico, Michigan, Oregon and the District of Columbia have closed in response.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.