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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order on January 29, 2021, requiring the wearing of masks by travelers to prevent spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Conveyance operators must also require that all persons wear masks when boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel, with certain exemptions as described in the Questions below. The Order defines “conveyance” as including “aircraft, train, road vehicle (including rideshares), vessel…or other means of transport, including military transport.” (42 CFR §§ 70.1, 71.1). Operators of transportation hubs must require all persons wear a mask when entering or on the premises of a transportation hub. A “transportation hub” means any airport, bus terminal, marina, seaport, or other port, subway station, terminal, train station, U.S. port of entry, or any other location that provides transportation”. More information about this order can be found on the CDC’s website, including CDC’s FAQ’s for this mask requirement, here.The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued an emergency amendment and three security directives in support of the CDC Order. They can be found here. SD 1582/84-21-01 pertains directly to owners and operators of ground transport. The other three pertain to the aviation industry. For more information about the TSA’s COVID-19 prevention efforts visit their COVID-19 hub, or their COVID-19 FAQs.
To assist ground transportation operators in the implementation of the Order and the Directive, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) compiled a list of questions and answers, and will continue to update them as additional information becomes available. The USDOT has also started the "Mask up" initiative to help industry and safety partners effectively communicate this mandate to the traveling public.