On Jan. 29, 2021, the Department of Transportation (DOT) posted frequently asked questions in response to the mask mandate order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The order requires travelers to wear masks at conveyances and transportation hubs to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The order defines “conveyance” as including “aircraft, train, road vehicle (including rideshares), vessel…or other means of transport, including military transport.”
Conveyance operators must require that all persons wear masks when boarding, disembarking and for the duration of travel, unless an exemption applies. In addition, transportation hub operators must require all persons to wear a mask when they enter or are on the premises of a transportation hub.
To assist ground transportation operators in the implementation of the order, the DOT published answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). Specific sets of FAQs exist for the following industries:
- Local public transportation systems—buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, trolleys and ferries
- Freight and passenger commercial motor vehicles
The CDC order includes, but is not limited to, the following exemptions:
- Children under the age of 2 years;
- Individuals with a disability that prevents them from wearing a mask; and
- Situations where wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety or job duty.
Impact on Employers
- The DOT plans to update these questions as needed over the next few months.
- Transportation employers should become familiar with the mask mandate and implement policies and procedures needed for compliance.
- Employers should also continue to monitor the DOT website for additional updates.
The order requires travelers to wear masks at conveyances and transportation hubs to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This Legal Update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. ©2021 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.