FMCSA issues guidance for truckers in travel-restricted areas

April 1, 2020

Mark Schremmer


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released guidance regarding truck drivers who are making deliveries to areas that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“FMCSA is aware that states, localities and territories have implemented or may consider implementing quarantine or travel restrictions that impact movement with their jurisdiction and on persons entering from certain locations within the United States and U.S. territories with sustained community transmission of the COVID-19 disease, as caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2,” the agency wrote.

When implementing any quarantine or travel restrictions that impact freight and passenger transportation by commercial motor vehicles, FMCSA asked governing bodies to consider that truck drivers and bus drivers have been identified as essential workers by the Department of Homeland Security.

FMCSA also pointed to guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding truck drivers delivering needed supplies to New York City, which has been a hotspot for the coronavirus.

That COVID-19 guidance said:

Truck drivers delivering needed supplies should stay in their vehicles as much as possible as supplies are loaded and unloaded, avoid being within 6 feet of others as much as possible when they exit their vehicles and move to electronic receipts if possible.

To the extent that truck drivers have to stay in restricted areas to get required rest, they should wash their hands frequently and practice social distancing to the extent possible.


The CDC’s advisory released on March 28 for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut excluded “employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking.” The CDC said these employees “have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules.”

FMCSA said it realized that long-haul drivers may be on the road for days or weeks at a time.

“The CDC has issued guidance that, when drivers return to their domicile location, they should follow the recommendations of the state or local officials in the areas in which they live,” FMCSA wrote. “The CDC recommends that all people take precautions to stay safe and keep others safe, including washing their hands regularly, staying home when sick, covering their coughs and sneezes and maintaining distance from others.”