The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has exempted solo commercial truck drivers from new regulations that require transportation workers to wear masks.
The CDC’s mask regulation, issued on Friday, states that in addition to those operating noncommercial, private automobiles and those operated by the U.S. military, “commercial motor vehicles or trucks (weighing 10,001 pounds or more)” are exempt from the requirement “if the driver is sole occupant of the vehicle or truck.”
The regulation implements an executive order issued by President Joe Biden on Jan. 21 requiring masks be worn by travelers or workers to protect against COVID-19 “on conveyances and at transportation hubs.” The order defines transportation hubs as airports, seaports, marinas, train stations, U.S. ports of entry “or any other location that provides transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.”
A U.S. Department of Transportation spokesman told FreightWaves that while solo drivers are exempt while traveling over the road, they would have to comply with the regulation once they entered an airport, seaport or other transportation hub subject to the requirement to drop off or pick up cargo. They would also continue to be subject to any requirements in place at private facilities such as shippers/receivers, truck stops and motels, he affirmed.
According to the regulation, transportation hub operators “must use best efforts to ensure that any person entering or on the premises of the transportation hub wears a mask.” Those efforts include:
- Allowing entry only to those persons who wear masks.
- Instructing persons that federal law requires wearing a mask in the transportation hub and failure to comply constitutes a violation of federal law.
- Monitoring persons on the premises of the transportation hub for anyone who is not wearing a mask and seeking compliance from such persons.
- At the earliest opportunity, removing any person who refuses to comply from the premises of the transportation hub.
- Providing persons with prominent and adequate notice to facilitate awareness and compliance with the requirement of this order to wear a mask.
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