Increased Restrictions on the Pentagon Reservation > U.S. Department of Defense > Release

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and positive test cases in the National Capital Region over the past two weeks, the Pentagon Reservation will move to Health Protection Condition Charlie effective 5 a.m. EST, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.  Both Armed Forces Retirement Home campuses, in Washington, D.C., and Gulfport, Mississippi, will remain at HPCON Charlie.

The Secretary of Defense’s number one priority during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be protecting our workforce while performing our national security mission. Supervisors will continue to provide maximum telework opportunities and flexible scheduling to optimize the workforce while defending our nation, taking care of our people, and ensuring success through teamwork.

In her memo to senior Pentagon leadership and the Defense Agencies and Field Activities, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks emphasized her intent that they comply with the occupancy limits set by the Director of Administration & Management to the fullest extent possible in their workplaces, including maximum exercise of telework capability for classified and unclassified work and, where necessary, rotating or sharing of work assignments for mission critical tasks that can only be performed at the workplace.  

With the change to HPCON Charlie, some of the measures that will be in effect include:

  • Organizations are expected to maintain occupancy rates at less than 25% of normal occupancy in workspaces, unless exceptions are approved by the Director of Administration & Management;
  • Commanders and supervisors will continue to provide maximum telework opportunities to all current telework eligible employees;
  • Commanders and supervisors will ensure that applicable force health protection guidance on testing and isolation or quarantine procedures are understood and followed;
  • Masks must be worn in indoor settings by service members, DOD civilian employees, onsite contractor personnel, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status;
  • Physical distancing remains at six feet;
  • Medically vulnerable personnel will continue to be permitted to self-declare their condition and pursue telework, when possible, with supervisors taking precautions to limit their exposure while in the workplace;
  • The Pentagon Athletic Center will be open to active duty military and PFPA first responders only; all annexes will be closed; 
  • Gatherings on the Pentagon Reservation are limited to fewer than 10 persons, unless exceptions are approved by DA&M; 
  • The Pentagon Reservation will remain closed to the public for tours, and the 9/11 Memorial will also remain closed except for pre-approved activities;
  • The Pentagon and Mark Center conference facilities as well as the Pentagon Auditorium will not be available for reservations and the Pentagon Apexes and WHS controlled ceremonial spaces will not be available for scheduling until further notice;
  • Promotion and retirement ceremonies indoors should be discouraged or deferred when possible through the month of January; 
  • Maximum use should be made of teleconferencing capabilities in lieu of face-to-face meetings;
  • Current COVID-19 open parking permits will be extended through Feb. 28, 2022;
  • Food court and concession options remain available with no options for indoor seating; military department executive dining facilities in the Pentagon may continue take-out food options at their discretion, with no options for seating in their main dining rooms; 
  • Both campuses (Washington, D.C., and Gulfport, Mississippi) of the Armed Forces Retirement Home will remain at HPCON Charlie; 
  • Official visitors will be limited to the minimum required for mission critical meetings; and
  • The Pentagon Reservation will be closed to unofficial visitors through the end of January 2022.

COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster shots, remain available through the DiLorenzo Pentagon Health Clinic. Symptomatic testing for those who become ill in the workplace remains available through DiLorenzo Pentagon Health Clinic; employees who feel ill before coming to the workplace should stay home and get tested through their primary care physician or local pharmacy.  Due to high demand and limited testing resources, asymptomatic testing on the Pentagon Reservation must be prioritized to personnel directly supporting mission critical tasks that have to come to the workplace.

DOD remains committed to protecting our people, maintaining mission readiness, and supporting the whole-of-government effort response to COVID-19.  We are continually emphasizing to our people the requirement to get fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and encouraging everyone eligible to get a booster shot and take actions to protect themselves and those around them by employing protective measures, including practicing good hand washing, social distancing, wearing tight-fitting face coverings, and taking appropriate actions if feeling sick now. These can dramatically decrease the risk of infection and slow COVID-19’s spread.

You can see Deputy Secretary Hicks’ memo to Pentagon leadership here, and you can see the guidance memo from the Director of Administration & Management here.

For more information on the Pentagon Reservation response to COVID-19, visit https://www.whs.mil/Coronavirus/

We encourage all DOD personnel to visit https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus for information on staying healthy during the pandemic.

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