The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s COVID-19 hours of service waiver has been extended yet again.
The waiver was to expire Tuesday. But late last week, just prior to the holiday weekend, it was extended again. The original COVID waiver was put into place March 13, 2020, in the first days of the pandemic. Since then, it has been both modified and extended several times, with the most recent expansion coming just a few weeks ago, when the transport of propane, natural gas and heating oil was brought under the waiver.
The latest extension takes the COVID waiver out another three months, to Aug. 31.
Under the waiver and its extension, HOS requirements are waived for vehicles that are “providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to COVID-19.”
Shipments of goods that fall under the waiver are:
- Livestock and livestock feed.
- Medical supplies related to testing and diagnosis of COVID-19.
- Vaccines and related products.
- Supplies of “equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19.” Masks and hand sanitizer are cited as examples.
- Gasoline, diesel and diesel exhaust fluid and the most recent additions of propane, natural gas and heating oil.
There is a requirement that drivers taking advantage of the waiver report into FMCSA monthly about their use of the exemption.