Truckers mostly exempt from new federal mask mandate

February 2, 2021

Land Line Staff

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest mask mandate specifically exempts truck drivers, with limited exceptions.

Travelers are now required to wear masks to prevent spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Conveyance operators also must require all persons onboard to wear masks when boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel. Operators of transportation hubs must require all persons to wear a mask when entering or on the premises of a transportation hub, according to the CDC.

“This order must be followed by all passengers on public conveyances (e.g., airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares) traveling into, within, or out of the United States as well as conveyance operators (e.g., crew, drivers, conductors, and other workers involved in the operation of conveyances) and operators of transportation hubs (e.g., airports, bus or ferry terminals, train or subway stations, seaports, ports of entry) or any other area that provides transportation in the United States,” the order states.

Truck drivers are specifically exempted “if the driver is the sole occupant of the vehicle or truck.”

The CDC’s latest mask order went into effect on Feb. 1.

Masks that cover both the mouth and nose must be worn when awaiting, boarding, traveling on, or disembarking public conveyances. People also must wear masks when entering or on the premises of a transportation hub in the United States.

The updated guidance from the CDC follows an executive order issued by President Joe Biden, mandating the wearing of face masks on federal property.

The order, which was signed Wednesday, Jan. 20, requires “on-duty or on-site federal employees, on-site federal contractors, and other individuals in federal buildings and on federal lands should all wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines.”

For purposes of the order, federal employees and contractors are defined as employees (including members of the military) and contractors (including such contractors’ employees) working for the executive branch. “Federal buildings” means “buildings, or office space within buildings, owned, rented, or leased by the executive branch of which a substantial portion of occupants are Federal employees or federal contractors. “Federal lands” means lands under executive branch control.

Doug Morris, OOIDA’s security operations director, says the order will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

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