Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Travel, Leave, and Telework

What you need to know

  • All travel and leave policies are back to pre-covid procedures.
  • Members must still comply with foreign, state, and local requirements while on leave or travel.


Select travel, leave, and telework related FAQs from the dropdown.

COVID-19 | Nov. 23, 2020

Travel FAQs


B1 Q: Can I travel outside the United States? *Updated 11/23/2020*

A: The CDC is issuing Travel Health Notices (THNs) for foreign locations affected by COVID-19. CG official travel to foreign locations for which the CDC has issued a Level 3 or Level 2 THN is restricted to only mission essential, time-sensitive work that cannot be handled via distance or remote means. Talk to your supervisor if you have any questions, or refer to ALCOAST 396/20. Foreign travel includes any visits, layovers, connections or port calls occurring outside the 50 US states and its territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S.V.I, etc.).

Personal foreign travel for military personnel on active duty is prohibited, including prior approved leave. Exceptions can only be granted by the first Flag or SES in your chain of command.

Personal travel to foreign countries or territories for civilians is highly discouraged. Consult the CDC travel advisory website above.


B2 Q: Can I travel within the United States? *Updated 06/19/2020*

A: Official travel within the United States is authorized. Local commands must balance risk to mission and risk to the member when authorizing official travel. The unit CO/OIC or first O-6/GS-15 in the chain of command will make this determination.

Personal travel: Military personnel on active duty are authorized local travel while on leave or liberty. The definition of local area is determined by the CO/OINC or the first O-6/GS-15 in the chain of command. Waivers to travel outside of local areas while on leave or liberty must be granted by the CO/OIC or the first O-6/GS-15 in the chain of command. Civilian employees should follow CDC travel guidance.


B3 Q: I’m currently stationed in a foreign country. What should I do? *Updated 6/19/2020*

A: Follow the guidance of the cognizant Department of Defense/Combatant Command or Department of State Chief of Mission, as applicable. See the Department of Defense’s Foreign Clearance Guide.


B7 Q: I am returning to the U.S. from a foreign country, what do I need to do? *Updated 06/19/2020*

A: All personnel returning from foreign travel to a country with an active CDC travel advisory should quarantine at home for 14 days. All personnel should contact their supervisor to discuss telework or leave options during quarantine. Refer to the COVID-19 PLANORD (series) Enclosure Commander’s Quarantine and Isolation Guide (Q&I Guide).

Civilian Personnel: Civilian employees returning from personal travel from or through a location under a Level 2 or 3 THN will be expected to telework or take personal leave for a period of 14 days before returning to a CG worksite.

Contractors: Contact your Contracting Officer Representative if you have traveled to a foreign country or territory affected by a Level 2 or Level 3 THN.


B8 Q: What should I do if my spouse or someone in my household has to travel? *Updated 06/19/2020*

A:  Being in close contact with someone who has traveled does not trigger quarantine requirements unless the traveler has been tested or diagnosed with COVID-19. CG personnel should contact their supervisor to discuss telework or leave options if they have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.

COVID-19 | June 19, 2020

Military Leave FAQs


B11 (formerly D1) Q: What kind of leave is available for medical care of self/dependents? *Updated 06/19/2020*

A: Military Personnel on active duty: If you are sick, sick leave or SIQ may be appropriate under the direction of medical health care professional and approved by the member’s command. All other cases would require members to request annual leave through normal unit procedures. Additionally, when supervisors observe military members exhibiting medical symptoms, the command can order members to seek medical attention. You may also telework from home under a voluntary telework agreement.


B12 (formerly K10) Q: Are CG members allowed to take leave during the COVID-19 pandemic? *Updated 06/19/2020*

A: Yes, leave is authorized during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Local leave travel areas are defined by the CO/OINC or first O-6/GS-15 in the chain-of-command and should be informed by and generally aligned with state and local jurisdictional posture. Travel outside of these locally defined zones while on leave or liberty must be discussed with and approved by the CO/OINC or first O-6/GS-15 in the chain-of-command. When considering requests to travel beyond the local area, Commands should weigh all risk factors including state and local government posture at the destination, mode of transportation, planned activities, lodging, and precautions taken by the requesting traveler. Members are reminded to follow CDC guidelines for safe interactions in public whenever on leave or liberty. See ALCOAST 211/20 Travel and Leave Policy – Update 2.

COVID-19 | June 19, 2020

Telework FAQs


B13 (formerly C2) Q: Can I telework?

A: In order to telework, you must be in a telework-eligible position, obtain supervisor’s approval, take telework training, and complete a telework agreement. ALCOAST 166/20 provides additional guidance.

DHS is encouraging agencies to maximize their telework capacity. ALCOAST 166/20 helps commands and supervisors to balance risk to the workforce and risk to mission. Managers should ensure that there are effective processes in place for communicating with members who are teleworking.

You can find additional details in the Coast Guard’s telework IT guidance and telework policy guidance.


B14 Q: How do I equip myself for telework? *Updated 6/19/2020*

A: You have a few options. Start with number one, which has the most minimal network bandwidth, and then move down the list to access greater capability as needed:

  1. Offline or “off-network” telework: No bandwidth demand. *do not use your personal email for FOUO, PII or OPSEC.
  2. BlackBerry (if assigned): Low bandwidth demand. Talk to your supervisor.
  3. Outlook Web Access (OWA): Low to medium bandwidth demand. Available via CAC reader. Try to avoid sending large file attachments.
  4. CG Portal: Low to medium bandwidth demand. Available via CAC reader.
  5. Virtual Private Network (VPN): Medium to high bandwidth demand. VPN accesses software loaded to your normal workstation (e.g. MS Visio, MS Project, etc.), and receives Windows OS patches. If your government laptop was connected to the network prior to March 15, it probably already has the new AnyConnect VPN software. Find it in the “Cisco” folder in your start menu, and click “Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.”
  6. Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI): Highest bandwidth demand.

ALCOAST 166/20 provides additional guidance regarding telework priorities and options, as well as expectations of supervisors and employees. For more information, visit the Telework website.


B15 (formerly C3) Q: Are contractors allowed to telework? *Updated 6/19/2020*

A: Yes, contractors are allowed to telework if needed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They should communicate with their Contracting Officer and Contracting Officer Representatives.


B16 Q: I need to get my CAC or USID card issued or reissued. What do I need to know? *Added 06/05/2020*

A: To minimize in-person visits to DEERS/RAPIDS offices, temporary policy changes allow certain people to either complete CAC and USID card transactions without going to DEERS/RAPIDS sites, or to hold off on renewing their card. Review the DoD’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at www.CAC.mil/coronavirus to find the most recent guidance.


B17 Q:  My CAC is about to expire.  How do I get it renewed? *Added 06/05/2020*

A:  If your CAC expired on or after April 16, 2020, you may have the certificates updated within 30 days of the card’s expiration date by visiting the DoD ID Card Office Online (https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/self_service). This policy change is in effect through Sept. 30, 2020.  For details, see ALCOAST 190/20.


B18 Q: Where can I find the closest DEERS/RAPIDS office? *Added 06/05/2020

A: Your closest DEERS/RAPIDS site and its hours of operation can be found at https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/rsl/. Do not show up without an appointment! Walk-ins are not allowed.  ALCOAST 139/20 provides information about qualifying for an in-person appointment. To schedule one, go to https://rapids-appointments.dmdc.osd.mil/

COVID-19 | May 5, 2020

Shelter in Place orders FAQs


B16 (formerly R1) Q: My state (or locality) issued a Shelter in Place/Stay at Home order. Can I still commute to work?

A: Yes. If you get stopped by state/local law enforcement on the way to work, identify yourself using your Personal Identity Verification (PIV) or Common Access Card (CAC) and explain the nature of your work and travel. You may NOT show your PIV or CAC card when stopped in situations where you are not trying to access or return home from your authorized duties. When traveling to or from work, you must not deviate from your route (such as to a grocery store) under the auspice of being a federal worker performing official functions. Check the exceptions to your local Shelter in Place/Stay at Home order to understand what is allowed.

Additional Resources