U.S. Central Command has issued travel restrictions for troops stationed within its area of responsibility across the Middle East and southwest Asia, citing fears about the fast-spreading coronavirus, a defense official said.
The command has canceled all leave and liberty travel planned within the CENTCOM area until further notice, said Navy Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for the command. The new restrictions do no impact official or temporary duty travel nor do they impact leave travel to destinations outside the CENTCOM area, such as the continental United States.
“U.S. Central Command is taking multiple prudent measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 coronavirus and to mitigate the operational risk such transmission would pose,” Urban wrote in an emailed statement. “One of those steps is to suspend leave and liberty for U.S. service members within the Central Command area of responsibility.”