Vaccinations were given pierside to the USS San Diego’s crew and embarked Marines in March. Navy photo

The Defense Department announced Thursday that all civilian employees and military personnel will be required to show proof of vaccination or wear a mask and provide regular COVID-19 test results.

“The Department of Defense is moving quickly to meet President Biden’s commitment to defeat COVID-19, and that includes being able to ensure every member of our civilian and military workforce is protected,” said Jamal Brown, deputy Pentagon press secretary, in a statement late Thursday.

“In accordance with the guidance the President issued today, all military and civilian DoD personnel will be asked to attest to their vaccination status,” said Brown. “Personnel unable or unwilling to do that will be required to wear a mask, physically distance, comply with a regular testing requirement and be subject to official travel restrictions.”

The new requirement comes as cases of the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus vaccine cause cases to surge among unvaccinated Americans.

“COVID-19 remains a significant and evolving threat to our nation’s security,” Brown said. “The rise of the delta variant and the speed with which it transmits make these additional protective efforts all the more vital to protecting our force and the nation we defend.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.