The Defense Department plans to “modify and extend” the current stop-movement order that restricts U.S. military personnel from traveling, with a new expiration date to be announced in the next couple of days, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said April 14.

The current order limits non-mission-critical personnel from traveling outside a 50-mile radius of their home station through May 11, in an effort to combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. A new date is still being finalized, Esper said in a media teleconference at the Pentagon. The Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense will then review the travel restriction every 15 days to decide whether it can be curtailed, or whether it requires a further extension, he added.

“The important thing is, as this virus unfolds and as our mitigation efforts take place, … we want to make sure we stay on top of it,” Esper said. Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matt Donovan will likely announce the new date later this week, to ensure affected personnel and their families have time to plan accordingly, he noted.

“Before I start moving people around … I want to make sure that I can do it with a high degree of confidence that I will not further spread the virus and contaminate units and communities,” Esper said. The modification to the travel restriction will include a “more comprehensive way in which we address exemptions,” he added.

The Defense Department plans to lead an interagency, whole-of-government “after action” review, once the pandemic has been stemmed, Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during the teleconference.

“There’s going to be lots and lots and lots of lessons learned at the operational logistical level – public affairs, narratives – how you deal with subs and ships and planes and brigades,” Milley said, adding that whenever the United States and the globe resurface from the COVID-19 pandemic, it won’t be “business as usual.”

“We have got to take a hard look at how we as a military, we as the Department of Defense, conduct operations in the future,” he said. “What we need to do in terms to apply those lessons learned and implement them, so that we can continue to be effective in a ‘post COVID world.’”