US Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Jonathan Rath Hoffman delivers coronavirus update 100320 CREDIT US DEPT OF DEFENSE
USA

Coronavirus: US Military Personnel Handed 'Precautionary Travel Restrictions'

There are currently more than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US so far.

US Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Jonathan Rath Hoffman delivers coronavirus update 100320 CREDIT US DEPT OF DEFENSE

American military personnel in "high risk" coronavirus areas have been issued with "precautionary travel restrictions" by the Pentagon. 

Jonathan Hoffman, the assistant to the US Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, told reporters that personnel have been restricted to "non-essential travel" and "non-official travel to areas of concern".

He also said US commanders have "cancelled or delayed exercises around the globe" over COVID-19 fears.

Rear Admiral William D. Byrne, vice director of Joint Staff, said as it stands, Exercise Defender Europe 20, the largest deployment of American troops to an exercise in Europe for 25 years, is "going to continue".

Two weeks ago, the US and South Korea postponed their annual joint drills over coronavirus.

South Korea is one of the countries that has been most affected, and it was there a US soldier tested positive for coronavirus last month.

US soldier conducting pre-screening for coronavirus at Casey garrison in South Korea
A US soldier conducts a pre-screening for coronavirus at Casey garrison in South Korea (Picture: US Department of Defense).

"The hope is that as the disease passes or the virus passes and we move into warmer weather, that we'll be able to resume some of those efforts," Mr Hoffman said. 

It comes as the governor of New York announced US troops will be sent into a town in the north of the city to enforce a "containment zone". 

There are currently more than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US so far.

Cover Image: Jonathan Hoffman speaks to reporters at the Pentagon (Picture: US Department of Defense).