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Coronavirus and Trucking

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has had a detrimental effect on our nation’s ability to keep food and medical supplies stocked. It is America’s truck drivers who are relied on to bring accessibility of the essential goods Americans need every day. In an effort to aid the trucking industry in maintaining this availability of goods, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a national emergency declaration to provide regulatory relief for hours of operation on those transporting emergency essentials to combat COVID-19. This declaration, the first of its kind, allows drivers to work longer hours than otherwise permitted. Once the driver has completed its delivery, the driver must receive a minimum 10 hours off duty if transporting property and 8 hours if transporting passengers.

  1. Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19

  2. Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants

  3. Food for emergency restocking of stores

  4. Equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19

  5. Persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes

  6. Persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response

The emergency declaration does not include routine commercial deliveries, or transportation of mixed loads that include essential supplies, equipment and persons, along with supplies, equipment and persons that are not being transported in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks.

“Because of the decisive leadership of President Trump and Secretary Chao, this declaration will help America’s commercial drivers get these critical goods to impacted areas faster and more efficiently. FMCSA is continuing to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak and stands ready to use its authority to protect the health and safety of the American people,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen.  

View the FMCSA’s national emergency declaration at the link below:

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