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The latest information on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is available on coronavirus.gov.

United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Statement on State and Local Shelter in Place and Other Restrictions on Movement Relating to COVID-19

Statement on State and Local Shelter in Place and
Other Restrictions on Movement Relating to COVID-19

Note:  This guidance document does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way.  This guidance is intended only to provide clarity regarding existing requirements under the law.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is aware that States, localities and territories have implemented or may consider implementing quarantine or travel restrictions that impact movement within their jurisdiction and on persons entering from certain locations within the United States and U.S. territories with sustained community transmission of the COVID-19 disease, as caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2.  

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 Department of Homeland Security, through the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency guidelines,[1] has identified the following as essential workers:

  • Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including truck drivers, bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) employees, towing/recovery services, roadside assistance workers, intermodal transportation personnel, and workers who maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-jurisdictional travel).
  • Workers including truck drivers, railroad employees and contractors, maintenance crew, and cleaners supporting transportation of chemicals, hazardous, medical, and waste materials to support critical infrastructure, capabilities, functions, and services, including specialized carriers, crane and rigging industry workers.
  • Bus drivers and workers who provide or support intercity, commuter and charter bus service in support of other essential services or functions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided guidance[2] to truck drivers delivering needed supplies to New York City, an area of widespread community COVID-19 outbreak, which provides:

  • Truck drivers delivering 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. 
  • To the extent that truck drivers have to stay in restricted areas to get required rest, they should wash their hands frequently and practice social distancing to the extent possible. 

The CDC’s March 28, 2020 Travel Advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which urged residents of those States to refrain from domestic travel for 14 days, expressly excluded “employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking.”  The CDC Advisory noted that these employees “have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules.”[3] 

FMCSA realizes that long haul drivers may be on the road for days or weeks at a time.  

The CDC has issued guidance that, when drivers return to their domicile location, they should follow the recommendations of the State or local officials in the areas in which they live. 

The CDC recommends that all people take precautions to stay safe and keep others safe, including washing their hands regularly, staying home when sick, covering their coughs and sneezes, and maintaining distance from others.  

Last updated: Wednesday, April 1, 2020