FAQ: Are Team Truckers Exempt From Interstate Mask Mandate?

Washington D.C. – Among the first actions taken by President Joe Biden was to issue executive orders requiring facial coverings to be worn on federal lands and during interstate travel.

President Biden’s order issued on January 21 relating to interstate travel requires that all passengers aboard commercial aircrafts (or in airports), trains, public maritime vessels, and public buses wear a mask.




 

Truckers were not covered under the order, but many expressed questions about it.

So, a follow up order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued on January 29 sought to add a bit more clarity for commercial motor vehicles (CMV) operators engaged in interstate commerce.

While all CMV operators are required to wear a facial covering at transportation hubs such as a private facilities like a shipper/receiver and truck stops, the CDC order specifically exempts drivers if they are the “sole occupant of the truck.”




 

However, the CDC order did not address team truckers of either the same or different households.

Are Team Truckers Exempt?

NO. Guidance recently obtained by Transportation Nation Network (TNN) from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicates team truckers (whether from the same or separate households) are required to wear masks inside the vehicle while traveling.

There are some exceptions to the requirements though, which include:

• While eating, drinking, or taking medications for brief periods;
• While communicating with someone who is hearing impaired when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
• If unconscious (for reasons other than sleeping), incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance;
• When necessary to temporarily verify one’s identity such as during a traffic stop.
• Other exceptions noted by the CDC are for persons suffering from shortness of breath or sick and vomiting.




 

Further, FMCSA indicated it is aware of the concern about team drivers and the order could be amended.

To comment on the matter, you are encouraged to email [email protected] and share your questions or concerns.

Photo courtesy Love’s

 


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