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My Coast Guard
Commentary | March 10, 2021

Travel and leave policy returns to pre-pandemic status

By MyCG Staff

With the exception of unofficial foreign travel, the Coast Guard has returned travel and leave approval procedures for military member to pre-pandemic status. All members should continue to make travel decisions based on the most recent travel guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

Leaders still need to approve leave and travel requests on a case-by-case basis, weighing the member's vaccination status and the COVID-19 conditions at the through and destination points. We are still in the middle of a pandemic, and we need to balance the risks to our mission and members.

Units should make every effort to grant leave for military members when the risk is acceptable.

Official travel 

  • Official travel is authorized for essential, time-sensitive missions. Local restrictions, such as restricting movement when entering a particular state, do not apply to official travel.
  • Commands must balance risk-to-mission and risk-to-member before authorizing travel.
  • Members must adhere to local restrictions while on personal travel.
  • FORCECOM units are resuming readiness activities as the situation allows. For the current status of all FORCECOM readiness activities and policy (AIA, Exercise Support, and “A” and “C” schools), refer to ETQC's website.
  • Select Reserves and Individual Ready Reserve: Performing IDT and ADT-AT are mission essential activities ensuring individual mobilization and unit readiness to respond to contingencies. However, commands are encouraged to provide maximum flexibility to their reserve members, while balancing operational readiness with exposure risk - especially those reservists who travel from outside of the reasonable commuting distance to their units - in order to minimize exposure and maximize readiness if activation is required.

Domestic leave/leisure travel

Foreign Leave/Leisure travel

  • Foreign leave/leisure travel for military personnel, including reservists on active duty requires command endorsement and first flag officer/SES in the member’s chain of command for approval. 
  • Commands should consider the CDC’s Travel Health Notices when deciding to endorse leave for foreign travel.

PCS travel

  • Please refer to the latest Assignment Year 21 (AY21): PCS and HHG Shipments SITREP.


  • Commands have discretion in determining whether members traveling to/from an area with an active CDC travel advisory or other local restrictions must quarantine with regards to official duties, to include considering vaccination status. 
  • Members must still abide by all local rules concerning quarantine when not acting in the course of their official duties.

COVID-19 Duty Status

  • Commands must not charge leave while their military members are in a command-directed, COVID-19-related duty status from official (domestic and foreign) or unofficial travel (domestic). COVID-19-related duty statuses include restriction of movement (ROM), isolation, and quarantine. 
  • For unofficial foreign travel, commands can require members to use personal leave as a condition of the request, as other countries may require ROM as a condition of entry or the THN may specify quarantine upon return. 


  • The Coast Guard maintains a COVID-19 website with authoritative documents, frequently asked questions, and a link to submit your questions. The site is updated continuously and should be referenced first, and often.
  • For comments or questions, please contact the Office of Military Personnel and Policy, COMDT (CG-1331).