NATSO CEO Calls Nationwide Mask Mandate a “Patriotic Duty,” ATA Weighs in on Masks
Alexandria, VA – The National Association of Truckstop Operators (NATSO) is calling on every truck stop and travel plaza across the nation to require facial coverings be worn as a matter of patriotism.
On Friday, NATSO issued a plea to all of its member businesses urging the adoption of a mandatory mask policy nationwide.
In a statement, NATSO explained, “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has called on all Americans to wear face masks to reduce the spread of the disease. Because the virus can be spread by those who do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected, it is important for everyone to wear masks.”
Additionally, NATSO argues the lack of a nationwide policy on the issue is confusing for truckers.
“For professional drivers and other travelers, the differing mask requirements from one locality to another has created confusion. A mandatory mask policy will prevent truck drivers from navigating differing policy requirements as they cross state and local boundaries,” NATSO said.
NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings seemed to suggest that business owners who do not require masks be worn inside their stores are unpatriotic.
“While we understand that there is disagreement about whether to mask, we are urging members to follow the advice of medical experts, including the CDC,” Mullings said. “We have a patriotic duty to guard the health of our employees and customers and believe this is an easy way to get the U.S. economy moving during this unprecedented global pandemic.”
In a similar stance this week, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) also urged its members to ensure truck drivers adhere to facial covering policies at truck stops and rest areas.
“It’s time once again for our industry to lead and show our country how to get the job done,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This pandemic is a crisis not of our making, but overcoming it requires each of us doing our individual part.”
Spear went on to say that wearing a mask is the “simplest and most effective way to defeat this virus.”
TravelCenters of America and Pilot Company Joins Love’s Travel Stops in Issuing Mask Mandate
This week, Love’s Travel Stops announced that beginning July 29, the company will require customers to wear facial coverings at every Love’s Travel Stop, Love’s Country Store, Love’s Truck Care and Speedco location across the country.
TravelCenters of America (TA) and Pilot Company (Pilot Flying J) will also be adopting the mask mandate policy.
A spokesperson with TA told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) on Friday the company intends to follow NATSO’s recommendation and will require all customers to wear facial coverings beginning July 29.
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A Pilot Company spokesperson also confirmed to TNN the Knoxville, TN-based chain will begin requiring guests to wear a face covering at all owned and operated locations as of July 28.
A growing list of retailers are requiring masks be worn including huge companies such as Walmart, Apple, Best Buy, Costco, Starbucks, CVS, Home Depot, and Lowe’s just to name a few.
On Friday, McDonald’s added to that list as well.