Our COVID-19 Update Hub provides members and industry stakeholders with timely, fact-based information to answer frequently asked questions and address common challenges that arise from the pandemic and national response.
This page will be updated regularly with information and guidance provided by government officials and other stakeholders involved in response efforts. We reiterate the situation remains highly fluid and subject to shifting developments. Accordingly, we will strive to date-stamp new information as it comes online.
News & Updates
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Congress has now passed "Phase Three" emergency relief legislation, which contains important financial assistance to employers, small business and individuals. Phase Two legislation contains significant provisions on paid sick and family and medical leave.
The U.S. Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security have issued guidance, including: Hours of Service waivers; Critical Infrastructure Workforce designations; CDL and medical card expiration waivers, partial border closings; and more.
Governors and state DOTs have issued emergency declarations that impact motor carriers, including: size & weight limit increases; state driver license agency closures; CDL expiration date extensions; and more.
Truckstops, Parking, Dining and Driver Facilities
The availability of commercial parking and rest stop facilities is critical to sustaining interstate commerce.
Driver and Employee Health and Wellness
Official guidance for protecting protecting against coronavirus; COVID-19 testing and treatment options for drivers; and more.
Dept. of Defense: Wear face coverings on military installations
On 4/7/20, the Department of Defense issued guidance for personnel on military installations to wear cloth face coverings "to the extent practical." Although it's not certain this will be required on every installation, it is advisable that drivers servicing military installations have some form of face covering over the mouth and nose. Improvised coverings are acceptable.
FHWA green lights state DOTs to permit food trucks at Interstate Highway rest areas
On 4/3/20, the Federal Highway Administration issued lifted federal restrictions on food trucks operating at highway rest areas:
“America’s commercial truck drivers are working day and night during this pandemic to ensure critical relief supplies are being delivered to our communities,” said FHWA Administrator Nicole R. Nason. “I am grateful to our state transportation partners for bringing this idea to the Department and for their leadership in thinking outside the box. It is critical to make sure truck drivers continue to have access to food services while they’re on the job serving our nation during these challenging times.”
The final application for Paycheck Protection Program loans are now available
As of 4/3/20, the final application for the Paycheck Protection Program is now available on treasury.gov. PPP is a new lending program through the Small Business Administration designed to help companies maintain payroll and meet other operating expenses during the COVID-19 crisis.
See our blog post here explaining PPP and other financial assistance programs contained in the CARES Act:
FMCSA issues statement on state and local shelter-in-place restrictions
• On 4/1/20, FMCSA encouraged states, localities and territories implementing quarantines and other restrictions to follow DHS guidance on essential workers and CDC guidance to truck drivers delivering needed supplies:
States, localities, and territories may wish to consider the following when implementing any quarantine, movement, and/or screening requirements that impact freight and passenger transportation by commercial motor vehicles.These suggestions draw on lessons learned from State, local, and territorial actions to date, as well as Federal guidance recommending unrestricted movement and access for critical infrastructure workers.
The statement reinforces previous federal guidance identifying truck drivers—and those working in related transportation functions—as essential workers. The DHS guidance can be found here. It also refers to the March 28 guidance from CDC that excludes “employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking” from the New York and surrounding areas 14-day quarantine recommendations. The CDC guidance can be found here.
Congress passes, President signs "Phase Three" emergency legislation with important relief for employers and small business
• On 3/27/20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, following the Senate's unanimous, bipartisan 96-0 vote of approval earlier in the week. President Trump soon after signed the "Phase 3" emergency COVID-19 relief legislation into law.
The legislation provides critical assistance to small- and midsize motor carriers needed to maintain payrolls, the economy’s supply lines and the movement of essential goods that all Americans rely on:
For more information on the CARES Act and its benefits to motor carriers, see this blog post.
CDC issues new guidance for truck drivers entering and exiting greater NYC area
• During the daily press briefing on 3/24/20, White House COVID-19 Task Force coordinator Doctor Deborah Birx stated “everybody who was in New York should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus doesn't spread to others.” Following the briefing, ATA immediately contacted the White House seeking clarity on Dr. Birx’s statement as it relates to truck drivers and other critical infrastructure workforce.
As a result of frequent communications, CDC published the following clarifications on 3/27/20 regarding truck drivers entering and exiting New York:
In line with our recommendations for other essential critical infrastructure workers, this guidance does not apply to critical transportation and delivery workers who are desperately needed for New York residents to continue their daily lives and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Truck drivers and other people driving into the city to deliver 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. If these drivers need to spend the night in the greater New York City area, they should stay in their hotel rooms or sleeper cab, when available, to the extent possible and continue to practice social distancing. Drivers who take these precautions should not need to self-quarantine when they leave the greater New York area, unless self-quarantine is recommended by state or local officials for all residents in the areas where they live.
Truck drivers and other workers who obtain or deliver needed supplies who live in the greater New York area may continue to work both within and outside of the greater New York area but should stay at home and practice social distancing according to instructions of state and local officials when they are not working. While they are working either within or outside of the greater New York area, they should stay in their vehicles as much as possible, avoid being within 6 feet of others as much as possible when they exit their vehicles, and move to electronic receipts if possible....