Stay current with COVID-19 and the industry.

Our latest news, updates, information and resources.

To help you stay up to speed on quickly changing regulations due to coronavirus (COVID-19), our dedicated team of safety and compliance experts are on the frontlines to help you stay informed.

Things are changing rapidly, often hourly. We are committed to giving you our educated interpretation of the facts as we know them. However, please know you are ultimately responsible for referring to the original source whenever possible to ensure compliance with federal rules and regulations.

Read the latest developments   |   COVID-19 news and resources

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Weekly webinar with our safety and compliance team

Each week, our safety and compliance experts will host a webinar to discuss the latest developments and answer your questions. Each webinar will be recorded, so you can watch it later if you register but can’t attend. No cost.

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Paycheck Protection Program is now live

April 3, 2020

The newly enacted Paycheck Protection Program (Small Business Loan Program) is now officially live. The new application was posted online last night (link below) and starting today, small businesses can apply for part of the nearly $350 billion in loans that are part of the recent stimulus package.

What you need to know

Go to your own bank first. Banks expect a high volume of application submissions. A few lenders are ready to go today; most will be ready next week. Lenders will likely be ready sooner, but all FDIC institutions will be brought on board in the coming days. Apply as early as possible, and don’t be surprised if the process is a bit chaotic. Read our online article and visit the links below for more information.

Read the Article

Read the full Interim Final Rule.
Download the Paycheck Protection Program application.

Q&A on School District Operations during COVID-19

April 3, 2020

Truckers in Laredo, Texas must now wear a mask

April 2, 2020

Announced today, truckers traveling in or through Laredo, Texas must wear a face cover. Those who don’t could be issued a fine of up to $1,000.

This decision was made by Laredo’s city council members, who are stepping up measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Per the city council, the face cover does not have to be a facemask specifically. Any type of fabric covering will do, including a scarf or bandana. Truckers are required to wear a face cover during all public outings, including pumping gas and picking up food.

Read the full story from Transportation Nation.

U.S. Department of Treasury: Assistance for small businesses

April 1, 2020

The U.S. Department of the Treasury just released guidance for small business forgivable loans included in the CARES Act. The department has also released the application and information to learn more.

Resources to learn more about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

March 31, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) takes effect April 1, 2020. Now, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has published guidance to help employees and employers use the protections and relief offered.

The FFCRA gives all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees the funds to provide their employees paid leave to use for taking care of their own health or for taking care of their family members. This legislation is to ensure workers don’t have to choose between earning a living and supporting public health measures needed to fight the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, these small businesses are reimbursed to support their continued survival.

Resources
Find answers to critical questions, including how to count your employees, how to determine coverage, how to obtain an exemption, what about part-time employees, duration of leave and more.

Q&A with Zonar Safety & Compliance on COVID-19

March 31, 2020

From the FTA: Frequently asked questions regarding how to respond to COVID-19

March 31, 2020

To help you be informed and prepared, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has posted a list of frequently asked questions—and answers. Below are some highlights directly from the FAQ. Visit the FTA's page to view the list in full.

  • Is funding available under FTA’s Emergency Relief Program for public transportation expenses related to COVID-19?
  • Has FTA waived any federal requirements?
  • How can FTA funding support transit agency response measures?

Additionally, the FAQ features CDC recommendations and FAQs specifically for workplace preparedness and protection, such as:

  • Are masks or other protective gear recommended for transit workers?
  • How can transit agencies and operators best begin a constructive dialogue about COVID-19 with public health officials in their local community?
  • What transit interior surfaces require the most attention and what cleaning solutions are the most effective against the virus? How frequently should cleaning occur?
  • What actions can transit agencies take to increase COVID-19 preparedness for potential outbreaks in their service areas?
  • What personal protective equipment should we provide to our employees?

The FTA's FAQ also includes a list of transit agency are responding and links to their information. Read the FTA's full FAQ and its answers to learn more. If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

FMCSA publishes 3-month CLP waiver

March 30, 2020

Saturday, March 28, 2020, the FMCSA published a waiver related to the Commercial Learners Permit (CLP). Waives the requirement under 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) that a CLP holder be accompanied by a CDL holder, with the proper CDL class and endorsements, seated in the front seat of the vehicle while the CLP holder operates a CMV on public roads or highways.

What this waiver does

  • A CLP holder may operate a CMV on public roads or highways without an accompanying CDL holder present in the front seat of the vehicle, provided that the CDL holder is elsewhere in the cab, the CLP holder is in possession of evidence from the testing jurisdiction, including an authorized third-party tester, that the CLP holder has passed the CDL driving skills test, and, unless the FMCSA waiver issued on March 24, 2020 applies, that the CLP holder has a valid non-CDL driver’s license, CLP, and medical certificate.
  • Waives the restriction under 49 CFR 383.79(a) that limits a State to administering a driving skills test, in accordance with subparts F, G, and H of 49 CFR part 383, to a nondomiciled CDL applicant who has taken driver training in that State.
  • Under the terms, conditions, and restrictions of this waiver, a State may elect to administer a driving skills test to any nondomiciled CDL applicant, regardless of where the applicant received driver training.

Learn more

Read the FMCSA's 3-month CLP waiver in full. If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

Texas Governor Abbott has issued travel restrictions between Texas and Louisiana

March 30, 2020

Here’s what you need to know. Employees who commute from Texas to Louisiana (or vice versa) each day for work can continue to do so. Governor Abbott’s order specifically exempts “people traveling in connection with commercial activity…[and] critical infrastructure functions.” The trucking industry and the businesses who support it are exempt from this order, consistent with federal guidelines for essential employees.

Read the Governor Abbot's order and read the proclamation identifying states included in the ban. If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

CISA updates its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

March 30, 2020

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated the list of “essential critical infrastructure workers” with regards to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

On page 9, you’ll find other critical infrastructure designations, including employees:

  • “supporting personal and commercial transportation services”
  • who “repair and maintain vehicles…and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers”
  • “supporting or enabling transportation functions”

That last bullet includes truck drivers, fleet dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, motor vehicle regulatory authority employees, and roadside assistance workers.

Page 10 features the following statement under a list of critical workforce employees: “workers critical to rental and leasing of vehicles and equipment that facilitate continuity of operations for essential workforces and other essential travel.”

Learn more

Read the CISA's Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce in full. If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

Guidelines for keeping cabs clean

March 30, 2020

Truckers swap trucks, which makes in-cab cleaning and sanitizing critical to keeping drivers healthy. The ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council offers the following recommended practices for keeping truck cabs clean.

IFTA urges waiving enforcement of credentials

March 30, 2020

On March 23, 2020, the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) Board of Trustees sent a letter to the IFTA Commissioners explaining that the Trustees have encouraged all jurisdictions to waive enforcement of credentials until June 30, 2020. The IFTA Board recognizes that some states already have, but given the gravity of the virus, all states should consider doing so. The letter also briefly mentions that IFTA, Inc. has issued a new Netting Calendar, which will provide relief in filing returns and remitting payments to carriers in all jurisdictions during this crisis.

Learn more

Download information on the Netting Calendar  |  Download the letter in its entirety

If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

Industry President signs $2T stimulus bill to provide economic relief

March 27, 2020

On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed a $2 trillion legislative package to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and provide workers and businesses hit by the disruption some relief. In addition to relief to small businesses, individuals and loans for corporations, this bill also includes $25 billion for public transit formula operating and capital grants to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19.

Highlights include:

  • $25B for public transit
  • small business aid
  • loan fund for corporations
  • direct payments to individuals
  • student loan payments suspended
  • expanded and extended unemployment aid
  • unemployment benefits for part-time and contract employees, and the self-employed

Download a copy of the bill. And, if you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

ABA Webinar: Coronavirus and the Motorcoach, Group Travel and Tourism Industry

March 27, 2020

American Bus Association (ABA) recently hosted a webinar covering the status of the bus industry, what’s happening and what help is available at this time. View the webinar in full to learn about what’s going on in Washington D.C. and how other companies are trying to navigate today’s challenges.

If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

See Webinar

CVSA Postpones International Roadcheck

March 26, 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, the CVSA is moving its International Roadcheck from May 5-7 to a date later in the year. This new date is yet to be determined. The CVSA is closely monitoring the situation and will notify the commercial motor vehicle enforcement community, the motor carrier industry, the press and the public when it chooses a new date.

Important

  • Operation Safe Driver Week is still scheduled for July 12-18.
  • Brake Safety Week is still set for August 23-29.
  • Daily roadside safety inspections and traffic enforcement are still being conducted. Enforcement personnel are following their departmental health and safety policies and procedures, as appropriate.

If you have questions, consult your own legal, or contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

From the FMSCA: Part 2 of frequently asked questions related to its emergency declaration

March 26, 2020

On March 13, 2020, the FMCSA suspended its HoS regulations (Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code) for certain truck drivers. And it previously released a list of frequently asked questions for further clarification. Now, it’s released an additional list of frequently asked questions (and answers). This new list goes into more detail about

  • what’s covered and what’s not
  • what a driver should do if there’s nowhere to park to rest
  • if time spent driving to pick up a truck counts as on duty

Read our short online article for highlights. And download this new FAQ by the FMCSA.

Read the Article

Canada issues HoS exemption relief

March 26, 2020

Transport Canada, the Provinces and Territories, through the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), have approved the Essential Freight Transport Exemption to assist federally regulated motor carriers (also known as extra-provincial carriers) and their drivers, who transport essential supplies and equipment in direct assistance to emergency COVID-19 relief efforts in Canada. This exemption provides temporary relief from scheduling provisions in Canada’s HoS regulations. All other elements of Canada’s HoS regulations remain in effect.

For now, the Essential Freight Transport Exemption will be available until April 30, 2020. Read our online article for details and to download a fully copy of Canada’s Essential Freight Transport Exemption.

Read the Article

Relief: U.S. Senate passes Phase Three emergency legislation

March 26, 2020

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed “Phase Three” emergency legislation, which includes important relief for employers and small business. This bill provides critical assistance to small- and midsize motor carriers needed to maintain payrolls, the economy’s supply lines and the movement of essential goods on which all Americans rely.

  • Provides nearly $350 billion in federally guaranteed loans via the Paycheck Protection Program to provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance to small businesses that maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to quickly snap-back after the crisis.
  • To provide immediate access to capital for small businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus, allows the Paycheck Protection Program to cover:
    • payroll costs
    • paid sick leave
    • supply chain disruptions
    • employee salaries
    • health insurance premiums
    • mortgage payments
    • other debt obligations.
  • Provides $17 billion in small business debt relief by requiring the Small Business Administration to pay all principal, interest, and fees on all existing SBA loan products for six months to provide relief to small businesses negatively affected by the coronavirus.
  • Provides $10 billion for expanded eligibility for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, including emergency grants, an advance of $10,000 within three days to maintain payroll, provide paid sick leave, and to service other debt obligations.

FMCSA update to drug and alcohol testing guidance

March 25, 2020

The FMCSA has released updated guidance for motor carriers conducting drug and alcohol testing during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Because of the disruptions this pandemic has caused, these guidelines are to ensure everyone’s safety, while providing reasonable flexibility for motor carriers operating under these challenging circumstances.

This updated guidance is in effect until May 30, 2020, unless the national emergency is extended beyond that date.

Read the online article for a summary of the FMCSA’s guidance. If you have questions, reach out to our team of safety and compliance experts.

Read the Article

FMCSA waiver for states, CDL holders, CLP holders and interstate drivers operating CMVs

March 24, 2020

This morning, the FMCSA issued a temporary waiver for states, CDL holders, CLP holders and interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Given the limited availability and operations of State Driver License Agencies and Medical facilities, the FMCSA has determined that it’s in the public’s interest to issue a waiver, limited in scope and circumstances, until June 30, 2020. Additionally, the FMCSA issued a Notice of Enforcement Policy to exercise its enforcement discretion in certain cases when a CLP, CDL or Medical Certificate is expired.

Important

This is not a blanket exemption from CLP, CDL and/or Medical Certificate requirements. Drivers and carriers should review the details of the waiver to ensure their operations qualify.

Read the Article

Q&A with Zonar Safety & Compliance on COVID-19

March 22, 2020

U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico ban non-essential travel across their borders

March 22, 2020

On March 22, 2020, the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders Ports of Entry have implemented a temporary ban on non-essential travel until 11:59 pm EST on April 20.

What is not banned

This partial ban does not apply to essential travel such as trade, any kind of truck freight, or truck drivers from all three countries (assuming the driver is not sick), but does apply to passenger rail and ferry travel.

The notice defines “essential travel” as including, but not limited to:

  • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States
  • individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States)
  • individuals traveling to attend educational institutions
  • individuals traveling to work in the United States
  • individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support Federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies)
  • individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada or Mexico)
  • individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel
  • members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States
  • individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations
What is banned

People traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events) are not considered “essential travel.”

Challenges facing pending annual IRP renewals

March 20, 2020

In response to COVID-19, many states have closed or reduced their Departments of Motor Vehicles operations. As a result, they’ve also reduced their ability to answer questions and process services for motor carriers. This reduction in service capabilities has been particularly difficult for the states’ ability to operate the International Registration Plan (IRP).

One of the main concerns facing motor carriers are pending annual IRP renewals. To address the issue, the IRP Board of Directors has held several phone calls to discuss the best way to reduce the burden on the carriers.

The many possibilities include:

  • halting the enforcement of renewals
  • allowing for payments to be made in installments rather than all at once

To further complicate this situation, there is no mechanism in place to halt or manage payments across all jurisdictions. This would mean that a Base Jurisdiction could halt the enforcement of renewals, but other states might not take a similar action, which would cause the carrier to still have to pay the other jurisdictions in which they operate.

Find some of the latest developments from the IRP by visiting their website.

Visit IRP

From the FMSCA: Frequently asked questions related to its emergency declaration

March 19, 2020

On March 13, 2020, the FMCSA suspended its HoS regulations (Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code) for certain truck drivers. Now, it’s also published a list of frequently asked questions (and answers) regarding:

  • what's covered, what's not
  • paper logs and ELDs
  • driver breaks
  • mixed loads
  • required restarts
  • documentation needed to verify

Read our short online article for highlights. And download the full FAQ by the FMCSA.

Read the Article

FMCSA expands its emergency declaration

March 18, 2020

On March 13, 2020, the FMCSA first issued a nation-wide relief of its HoS regulations, following President Trump’s issuing of a national emergency declaration in response to COVID-19. Today, the FMCSA expanded that declaration by:

  • adding to and refining the list of covered transportation services
  • clarifying what constitutes a mixed load

Visit our online article for more information and to download the updated declaration.

Read the Article

Question and Answer Summary: the ATA and FMCSA discuss the recent Emergency Declaration

March 18, 2020

As a member of the ATA Safety Policy Committee, we can provide the latest from ATA. Download a PDF of questions and answers covered between the ATA and FMCSA on a recent conference call regarding the FMCSA’s emergency declaration. Keep in mind, these responses are subject to further interpretation and change, especially as the situation with regard to COVID-19 evolves. You are responsible for reviewing the emergency declaration and working with the appropriate authorities to best comply with the federal rules and regulations.

Download Q&A

FMCSA suspends HoS requirements for certain drivers

March 13, 2020

For the first time, the FMCSA has issued a nation-wide relief of its HoS regulations, following President Trump’s issuing of a national emergency declaration in response to COVID-19. According to the FMCSA’s emergency declaration, “motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations.”

Read the full online article for more on:

  • what this temporary exemption includes
  • what it does not include
  • what you and your drivers should do
  • what if a driver needs rest

Plus, download the emergency declaration in full.

Read the Article

More COVID-19 news affecting the industry

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