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.
- Check back on this site often for updates.
- Or, if you need to, contact us with questions.
- Drivers with COVID-19 related questions, contact our team.
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.
Government of Canada announces adjustments to Canada’s border measures
November 19, 2021
As of January 15, 2022, certain groups of travelers, who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter Canada if they’re fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved for entry into the country.
Groups included in this requirement
- Essential service providers, including truck drivers
- International students who are 18 years old and older
- Professional and amateur athletes
- Individuals with a valid work permit, including temporary foreign workers (outside of those in agriculture and food processing)
- People travel to reunite with family (unvaccinated children under 18 years of age will retain exemption if travelling to reunite with an immediate or extended family member who is a Canadian, permanent resident, or person registered under the Indian Act)
Exempt unvaccinated travelers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine, and other entry requirements.
OSHA’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandate (ETS) temporarily on hold
November 9, 2021
On November 04, 2021, OSHA announced its emergency temporary standard (ETS), which requires employers with 100 or more employees to either ensure those workers are vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 each week. Per this ETS, employees who choose not to be vaccinated are also required to wear a face covering in the workplace.
Groups including the America Trucking Associations and the Truckload Carriers Association have been lobbying for exemptions for truckers. Primary concerns include the worry that a vaccine mandate will cost the trucking industry part of its workforce, at a time when the supply chain is strained and the industry is short on drivers. Plus, due to the 100-employee cutoff, larger carriers are concerned about losing drivers to smaller carriers that don’t fall under the mandate.
And while trucking is not exempt from the order, there may be a combination of exemptions in OSHA’s ETS that could exempt select drivers.
Several states have filed suit to halt OSHA’s ETS, which is now temporarily on hold as it faces legal challenges. On November 06, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a temporary stay and called for accelerated briefing on why a permanent injunction should not be granted. Plus, the ETS faces multiple other challenges in other federal courts of appeals, seeking a temporary injunction. These cases could be consolidated, and the current temporary stay may be lifted.
ATA calls COVID-19 vaccination exemption vitally important for the supply chain
November 5, 2021
The American Trucking Association (ATA) President and CEO has issued the following statement regarding OSHA’s emergency temporary standard on the vaccine mandate.
“As we made clear in our comments to the Administration prior to the rule’s publication, drivers spend the vast majority of their workday alone in the cab and outside. The rule published yesterday exempts employees who exclusively work outdoors or remotely and have minimal contact with others indoors, and all indications thus far from the Department of Labor suggest this exemption does apply to the commercial truck driver population.
“While we complete our due diligence to confirm that fact through official channels, we see quotes from Labor Secretary Walsh as an enormous victory for our association and industry. Given the nationwide shortage of truck drivers, it is vital that our industry has the relief it needs to keep critical goods moving, including food, fuel, medicine and the vaccine itself.
“We continue to believe OSHA is using extraordinary authority unwisely, applying it across all industries at an arbitrary threshold of 100 employees that fails to factor in actual risks. We are weighing all options of recourse to ensure every segment of our industry’s workforce is shielded from the unintended consequences of this misguided mandate.”
What’s in OSHA’s letter to the White House
OSHA’s anticipated rule cannot meet the longstanding high legal requirements for an ETS.
- OSHA cannot meet the standard for a grave danger determination.
- Even if COVID were a grave danger, an ETS is not necessary.
- Even if there were a grave danger and an ETS were necessary, OSHA cannot reasonably or legally limit coverage at 100 employees.
- Testing is not a viable option logistically or economically for truck drivers.
- Paid leave requirements are outside OSHA’s authority.
The ATA has suggested the following options.
- Truck drivers should not be subject to the OSHA ETS.
- FMCSA is the longstanding regulator for standards applicable to truck drivers.
- The Administration should exempt federal contractors from the OSHA mandate or alternatively allow compliance with either requirement to meet the other requirement.
- Any mandates need a reasonable implementation timeline.
Two-thirds of all workers now covered by vaccination rules
November 4, 2021
OSHA vaccination rule
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is announcing the details of a requirement for employers with 100 or more employees to ensure each worker is either fully vaccinated or tests for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis. The OSHA rule will also require that these employers provide paid time off for employees to get vaccinated, and ensure all unvaccinated workers wear a face mask in the workplace. This rule will cover 84 million employees. OSHA is also clarifying that it will not apply its new rule to workplaces covered by either the CMS rule or the previously announced federal contractor vaccination requirement.
CMS vaccination rule
Second, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services is announcing the details of its requirement that health care workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid are fully vaccinated. The rule applies to more than 17 million workers at approximately 76,000 health care facilities, including hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Deadline to comply: January 04, 2022
To make it easy for businesses and workers to comply, the White House has announced that the deadline for workers to receive their shots will be the same for the OSHA rule, the CMS rule, and the previously announced federal contractor vaccination requirement. Employees falling under any of these three rules need to have their final vaccination dose—either their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson—by January 4, 2022.
Both OSHA and CMS are making clear that their new rules preempt any inconsistent state or local laws, including laws that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, masks, or testing.
U.S. will reopen Mexico Canada land borders for fully vaccinated travelers
October 13, 2021
Starting in November, the U.S. will reopen land borders with Mexico and Canada to fully vaccinated travelers. When that happens, people who have been unable to enter the U.S. since the borders closed will be able to do so using ferry and land points of entry—as long as they’re fully vaccinated. The exact date in November has yet to be announced. And people who are unvaccinated will still be unable to enter the U.S. by land, from Mexico and Canada.
Essential travelers, including truck drivers, U.S. citizens and healthcare workers have never restricted from crossing these two land borders. However, starting in January 2022, they will need to show proof of vaccination to enter the U.S from Mexico or Canada.
Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements for Canadian federally regulated transportation employees and travelers
October 6, 2021
Earlier today, the Government of Canada made an important announcement, of its requirement that all air, rail and marine transportation sectors (and travelers) be vaccinated. This requirement is for the air, marine and rail sectors—and is not imposed on the ground transportation sector employees at this time.
Today’s announcement confirms the timeframes and provides more detail with respect to who will be covered by the mandate, and what the roles and responsibilities of employers and operators are. Read the announcement in full on the Government of Canada’s website.
Reporting required information for the FMCSA Emergency Declaration
October 5, 2021
The FMCSA first issued its Emergency Declaration, which provides regulatory relief for truckers who provide direct assistance related to the pandemic, in March 2020. However, September 2021 was the first month for the reporting requirement. Per this requirement, motor carriers must report their reliance on the declaration with five days after the end of each month. This means they have until Tuesday, October 5, 2021, to fulfill the requirement for September.
How to report
- Access your FMCSA portal account.
- Log in with your FMCSA portal credentials.
- Go to Emergency Declaration Reporting under the “Available FMCSA Systems” section.
What you'll need to report
- USDOT number
- month and year of the reporting period
- number of commercial motor vehicle trips that relied upon the emergency declaration in the preceding month
- commodities transported
- commodities transported the most
Remember, when the FMCSA extended its declaration at the end of August, the agency also announced some changes—including this reporting requirement. Plus, while the declaration still includes some relief from HoS regulations through November, the scope of that particular exemption has narrowed.
U.S. land borders remain closed to non-essential travel until October 21
September 21, 2021
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will be extending restrictions on non-essential travel at the U.S. – Canada and U.S. – Mexico land borders. These restrictions were originally set to expire on September 21, 2021. Now, they’re extended until October 21, 2021. Put in place March 2020, U.S. has extended these restrictions each month and there is no current prediction on when they will be lifted.
The Canadian government opened its land border to vaccinated Americans as of August 9, 2021. So, non-essential travelers who meet Canada’s requirements are permitted to cross that land border into Canada, while non-essential travel is not permitted from Canada in the U.S. at this time. However, these restrictions do not prevent U.S. citizens from returning home.
TSA has extended its face mask requirement to January 2022
September 20, 2021
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended its face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks throughout the U.S., including at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on over-the-road buses, and on commuter bus and rail systems—through January 18, 2022. All travelers should check the CDC website for detailed guidance. Visit the TSA’s website for more COVID-19 related guidance and guidelines.
New COVID-19 measures in Alberta and New Brunswick
September 16, 2021
Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency and will implement new, temporary health measures to expand capacity, increase vaccination rates and reduce transmission of COVID-19. These new measures, which take effect September 16, are required due to the province’s rising number of cases and hospitalizations. Learn more about Alberta’s state of emergency and new measures.
New regulations are being introduced to increase vaccination rates and slow the spread of COVID-19. Starting September 21, people will be required to show proof of vaccination to access certain events, services and business. Plus, anyone entering New Brunswick will be required to preregister their travel. Read their full press release for more information.
Update to Ontario’s proof of vaccination certificate system
September 15, 2021
Effective September 22, 2021, certain businesses in Ontario, Canada, will require people to provide proof that they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access certain facilities and settings. (Scroll down to learn more or visit the Government of Canada’s website.) At first, those who are fully vaccinated will need their current vaccination receipt with a valid photo identification to enter premises covered under the new system. Now, the province is publishing guidance to support the policy– including exemptions for individuals that are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
Proof of vaccination requirements will not apply to settings where individuals receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies, and the like. Also, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals are exempt (or proof isn’t required) in settings such as using a washroom, paying for an order, placing and picking up an order, and making a purchase in a retail store.
Key takeaway for commercial drivers
Truck drivers and those traveling from outside Ontario can meet the proof of vaccination policy by having a paper or digital vaccine receipt from their home jurisdiction, along with a valid I.D. such as driver’s license, health card, passport or other government-issued documentation.
For more information, read Ontario’s proof of vaccination policy guidance.
Canada updates its COVID-19 ArriveCAN Toolkit
September 14, 2021
In keeping with today’s changing itmes, Canada has updated is COVID-19 ArriveCAN mobile app—and one big change will save drivers more time. Travelers crossing the border into Canada can now enter all of their personal information for their travel receipt under the essential traveler process—without having to enter it again unless there is a change in your health, or you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
Bottom line: Drivers be able to use the same receipt each time they cross the Canadian border.
Visit the Government of Canada’s website for more on:
- the latest information on border measures
- downloading the ArriveCAN app (available on iOS and Android)
- using the ArriveCAN app
- if you don’t submit your info using the ArriveCAN app
- how your privacy is protected
White House announces COVID-19 action plan
September 9, 2021
The White House has announced plans for an executive order to require employers with more 100 workers to either ensure those workers are vaccinated for COVID-19, or test each unvaccinated employee for the COVID-19 virus on a weekly basis. They will also be required to provide paid time off to get the vaccination or recovery time should the worker have post-vaccination side effects.
This executive order, which will affect approximately 80 million Americans, will have to be issued under OSHA’s existing authority.
Certain employer requirements are not immediate.
OSHA will need time to develop its emergency rule for qualifying businesses (more than 100 employees) to ensure every worker is fully vaccinated or tests negative for COVID-19 each week.
For more information, read the White House’s COVID-19 action plan.
Ontario will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination in certain settings
September 1, 2021
Starting September 22, 2021, certain businesses in Ontario, Canada, will require people to provide proof that they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access these facilities and settings. This approach focuses on higher-risk public indoor settings, where face coverings can’t always be worn. And is an effort to encourage every eligible Ontarian to get their vaccination, protect hospital capacity against patient surges, and support businesses in keeping their customers safe.
Starting on that date, Ontarians will need to provide their proof of full vaccination—and their photo I.D.—to access certain public setting and facilities such as:
- restaurants and bars, excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout
- nightclubs, including outdoor areas of the establishment
- meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls, and conference and convention centers
- facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport
- sporting events
- casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
- concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas
- strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs
- racing venues such as horse racing
People who are unable to be vaccinated and have a medical exemption will be permitted entry with a doctor’s note. As will children ages 11 years old and younger, and who are unable to be vaccinated.
Does not apply to certain outdoor settings
This requirement would not apply to outdoor settings where the risk of transmission is lower, including patios, with the exception of outdoor nightclub spaces given the risk associated with the setting. In addition, these requirements will not apply to settings where people receive:
- medical care
- food from grocery stores
- medical supplies
- similar activities
More tools to come
In the coming weeks, Ontario will develop additional tools to make complying with this requirement easier for people and businesses. This includes alternative tools for those without email, health card or I.D. And the government will work to support implementation of vaccine certificates for Indigenous communities whether or not they have opted to enter their data into COVaxON, while maintaining Indigenous data governance, control, access and possession principles.
FMCSA extends its Emergency Declaration
August 31, 2021
The FMCSA has extended its Emergency Declaration that was set to expire August 31, 2021. This declaration, which applies only to 395.3 “Maximum Driving Time for Property-Carrying Vehicles,” becomes effective at 12:00 a.m. September 1, 2021, and expires November 30, 2021 (unless modified or terminated sooner). This extension includes reporting requires for motor carriers and drivers already using the exemptions. And has been modified and additional commodities are listed below.
- Livestock and livestock feed
- Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19
- Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19
- 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
- Food, paper products, and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores
- Gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and ethyl alcohol
- Supplies to assist individuals impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., building materials for individuals displaced or otherwise impacted as a result of the emergency)
The notice directs motor carriers that voluntarily operate under the terms of this extension and amendment of Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 to report within 5 days after the end of each month their reliance on the Declaration. To report, motor carriers will access their portal account.
You are strongly encouraged to review the applicability, restrictions and limitations.
CLD, CLP and medical certificate extensions
FMCSA has extended the CDL/CLP/Medical Certificate waivers under certain circumstances. Please note, state agencies may choose not to extend the validity periods for CDL/CLPs. Carriers and drivers should check with their state agencies to ensure compliance.
Third-party CDL testing
The FMCSA has also extended waivers related to third-party CDL skills test examiners. As always, review the details of these waivers to ensure applicability and compliance.
Updated OSHA guidance for protecting workers from COVID-19
August 16, 2021
OSHA has issued its updated guidance regarding workplace COVID-19 precautions. The updated guidance incorporates, among other things, the CDC’s guidance from July 27, 2021. OSHA’s latest guidance does not discuss trucking specifically, but it does focus on higher-risk workplaces with mixed-vaccination status workers. Certain portions of this latest guidance may be relevant to your operation, depending on the transmission status in your region and how your employees interact with others.
The updated OSHA guidance:
- recommends that fully vaccinated employees in areas of substantial or high community transmission wear masks in public indoor settings to protect the unvaccinated
- recommends that fully vaccinated employees who have close contacts with people with COVID-19 wear masks for up to 14 days unless they have a negative coronavirus test at least 3 to 5 days after such contact
- clarifies recommendations to protect the unvaccinated and other at-risk in certain industries (not trucking)
Use your best judgment on whether these heightened protections are necessary based on locally reported virus transmission in your area, and whether your employees interact with non-employees. OSHA also continued to emphasize that vaccination is the optimal way to protect employees.
Visit the Read OSHA’s updated guidance.
Vaccine requirements changing in Canada
August 16, 2021
The Government of Canada has announced that it will require COVID-19 vaccinations across federal public service as early as the end of September. For those who are unable to be vaccinated, accommodation or alternative measures may be determined per situation. Plus, no later than the end of October, the Government of Canada will also require employees in federally regulated air, rail and marine transportation to be vaccinated as well.
Notably, the Government of Canada will engage key stakeholders, including transportation sector operations, as it plans the implementation of these initiatives. More details to come.
Additionally, the Government of Canada expects its corporations and other employers in the federally regulated sector to also require their employees to be vacated against COVID-19, and will work with those employers to ensure it happens. However, federally regulated trucking companies will not be required to mandate vaccinations, though the government is “strongly encouraging” employers to continuously urge vaccination within their workforces.
Visit the Government of Canada website for the full press release.
Visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety for more information.
OSHA revises its COVID guidance for at-risk workers in the workplace
July 1, 2021
OSHA has released temporary standards for healthcare workers and revised its COVID-19 guidance for everyone else. For the trucking industry, these new guidelines focus on protecting unvaccinated workers and those who are also otherwise at risk in the workplace. (Not everyone can or chooses to be vaccinated.) The agency will not enforce OSHA illness recording requirements for workers encountering COVID-19 vaccine side effects through May 2022, but notes that other federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations still apply separately on such issues.
Visit the OSHA website for more information on:
- What defines an “at-risk” worker
- What you need to know about COVID protections in the workplace
- Precautions that still need to be taken in certain settings
- Steps to take to protect all workers and reduce the spread of COVID-19
- Additional links to resources for protecting at-risk workers
- The Roles of Employers and Workers in Responding to COVID-19
CERTS program portal is open and accepting applications
June 22, 2021
The Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Program supports transportation service providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including motorcoach and school bus businesses. Under this program, the U.S. Treasury will provide up to $2 billion in grants to eligible companies that certify they have experienced an annual revenue loss of at least 25 percent due to COVID-19.
Applications are now being accepted.
Now open, the CERTS portal will accept application through July 19, 2021. To be considered, your application must be completed, electronically signed and submitted through the CERTS portal by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 19, 2021. Beyond that deadline, the portal will no longer accept new applications, nor will you be able to finish a draft application within the portal.
Before you can access the portal and submit your application, a company representative must use the ID. Me identity service to register.
Phase 1 of easing border measures for eligible people entering Canada
June 22, 2021
On July 5, 2021 (at 11:59 p.m. EDT), fully vaccinated travelers, who are eligible to enter Canada under current travel restrictions, will enter under Canada’s Phase 1 in easing border crossing measures.
About Canada’s Phase 1
- Continues restriction entry to Canada of foreign nationals, unless they already meet an exemption
- Maintains pre-and on-arrival testing for all travelers
- Monitors for variants of concern
If you’re fully vaccinated
Being fully vaccinated does not automatically exempt any traveler from quarantine, the mandatory hotel stay or day-8 testing. Also, all travelers must still electronically submit their COVID-19 related information into ArriveCAN before arriving. They must also meet pre- and on-arrival test requirements, be asymptomatic and have a suitable quarantine plan.
Some provinces and territories may have their own entry restrictions in place. All travelers who are eligible to enter Canada need to plan ahead to make sure they meet all mandatory requirements. Before trying to enter Canada, check and follow federal, provincial and territorial restrictions and requirements.
For more information, plus links to additional resources, visit the Government of Canada's website.
OSHA and CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated people
June 11, 2021
For those who have been fully vaccinated, OSHA and the CDC have issued guidance for resuming pre-pandemic activities and workplace responsibilities. According to OSHA, “Unless otherwise required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their fully vaccinated workers who are not otherwise at-risk from COVID-19 exposure. This guidance focuses only on protecting unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers in their workplaces (or well-defined portions of workplaces).”
OSHA’s guidance, which was first published in January, has been updated to:
- Focus protections on unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers
- Encourage COVID-19 vaccination
- Add links to guidance with the most up-to-date content
Visit OSHA’s full guidance for a safe work environment: Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace
And, read the CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People, which outlines that fully vaccinated people can:
- Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
- Refrain from testing before leaving the U.S. for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the U.S.
- Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
- Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible
FMCSA extends its Emergency Declaration through August 31, 2021
May 26, 2021
The FMCSA is extending its Emergency Declaration that was set to expire on May 31, 2021. This extension includes the same regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of COVID-related relief efforts included in the February 17 declaration. This expanded declaration becomes effective at 12:00 a.m. June 1, 2021, and expires on August 31, 2021.
The published declaration is limited to the transportation of:
- livestock and livestock feed
- medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19
- vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19
- 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
- food, paper products, and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores
Emergency relief does not include certain FMCSRs related to the safe operation of CMVs, such as:
- controlled substance and alcohol testing
- financial responsibility requirements
- CDL requirements
- operation of a CMV while ill or fatigued
- size and weight requirements
- additional FMCSRs outlined in the declaration
The FMCSA intends to start winding down exemptions granted under this Emergency Declaration and its other COVID-19 regulatory relief measures. The agency intends to review the status of this and other emergency regulatory relief on July 1, 2021. If conditions warrant such action, the FMCSA may take action to modify or terminate each extension. Stay tuned.
Visit the FMCSA’s COVID-19 webpage for the full library of latest information, declarations and resources.
U.S.-Canadian border to remain closed until June 21
May 20, 2021
The U.S.-Canada border will remain closed to nonessential travel until at least June 21, 2021. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday a decision to reopen the nearly 9,000-kilometer-long border will depend on vaccination rates. Until further notice, continue following the existing travel restrictions when crossing the border.
Visit the Government of Canada's Driving to Canada Checklist.
Learn more about the ArriveCAN app.
State-by-state restrictions in response to COVID-19
May 17, 2021
Much continues to change across the U.S., but changes, restrictions, preventative measures and timeframes vary per each state. Some have started easing restrictions, others aren’t there yet. The AARP has put together a list of state-by-state restrictions to help you understand what measures to follow, where.
Guidelines for the CERTS Program now published
May 10, 2021
The Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Program provides eligible transportation service companies resources to help to maintain payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead and operational expenses. Established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, this program is designed to support transportation service providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the CERTS program, up to $2 billion in grants are available to eligible companies that certify they have experienced an annual revenue loss of 25 percent or more due to COVID-19. Now, the U.S. Department of Treasury has released it guidelines for the CERTS Program.
- Provides definitions, process overview
- Details eligibility requirements
- Outlines the review and approval process
This is a non-competitive grant program. You’ll need to submit financial information to obtain funds.
OSHA announces revised COVID guidance for employers
April 9, 2021
OSHA has released revised guidance, recommending that all employers outside of healthcare-related industries implement a COVID-19 prevention program in the workplace. These recommendations are not regulations. These recommendations are advisory in nature and intended to help employers provide a safe workplace.
Key recommended components
- Conduct a hazard assessment.
- Identify and implement measures that limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Adopt measures that workers who are infected or potentially infected are separated and sent home.
- Implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise COVID-19 concerns.
CDC and TSA updates mask mandate for team drivers
April 6, 2021
The CDC and the TSA have published and updated guidance for team drivers regarding when and where a mask should be worn. This guidance isn’t all inclusive for all team operations, but it does provide some guardrails for staying safe.
Highlights to know
- CDC has issued an Order requiring face masks to be worn by all travelers—including all personnel operating the conveyance—while on public transportation.
- Recent CDC guidance expands the exemptions for solo drivers to include driving teams from the same household.
- Team drivers are not required to wear a mask in the cab of a commercial motor vehicle if the vehicle’s occupants live in the same household or are the only people in the vehicle.
- Per the FTA, transit operators are considered a public conveyance, and fall under the CDC’s order that requires all travelers wear a mask for the duration of travel.
- Transit employees are required to wear a mask unless covered under an exemption, even if separated from others by a protective barrier.
- If wearing a mask creates a risk to workplace health, safety or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or Federal regulations, that person is not required to wear a mask. (The CDC is expected to issue additional guidance regarding such exemptions.)
White House signs $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill
March 11, 2021
The White House has signed the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill package. This bill includes direct deposits of up to $1,400 to most Americans, who can start looking for these deposits as soon as this weekend. This relief package also extends the $300-per-week unemployment insurance until September 06, 2021. Nearly $20 billion are allocated to COVID-19 vaccinations, $25 billion into rental and utility assistance, and $350 billion into state, local and tribal relief. And it will send more than $120 billion to K-12 schools
House approves $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill
March 11, 2021
Congress has approved a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, which includes funding for transportation corridors. Many Americans can look forward to up to $1,400 direct payments. And the $300-a-week emergency unemployment benefits are extended into early September.
The relief bill also includes:
- $14 billion for eligible airlines and $1 billion for contractors to the air carriers to extend a payroll support program set to run out on March 31
- $8 billion for airports to make changes to facilities or personnel to prevent the spread of COVID-19
- $30.5 billion in emergency funding for U.S. transit agencies, $26 billion of which will be handed out to urbanized areas through formula grants
- An additional $7.25 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses in the Paycheck Protection Program
Trucking groups ask CDC to use truck stops and travel plazas for vaccinations
March 10, 2021
The trucking industry has been critical to helping our nation through this pandemic. Now, NATSO, which represents our nation’s truck stops and travel plazas, along with a coalition that represents trucking fleets and drivers, have issued the CDC a letter asking that these travel points be used as mobile vaccination sites exclusively for professional truck drivers and truck stop employees.
At this time, truck drivers, who are currently listed as essential workers, face significant challenges getting their expedient vaccine. Location, parking, needing to receive both vaccinations at the same location; truck drivers, especially those who drive Class 8 vehicles and are deployed for long hauls, struggle to get vaccinated. According to NATSO, using truck stops and travel plazas, which cater to truckers’ unique needs, would significantly alleviate those challenges by making vaccinations more easily accessible.
What’s requested in the letter
- Truck stops and travel plazas be used as mobile vaccination sites
- Allow truck drivers to receive a vaccine in a state other than their state of residency
- Allow truck drivers to receive their second vaccine dose at a different location than their first
The letter was signed by NATSO, American Trucking Associations, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, National Private Truck Council, National Tank Truck Carriers, St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, and the Truckload Carriers Association.
CDC publishes guidance that fully vaccinated people can visit safely—without a mask
March 8, 2021
The CDC has announced that fully vaccinated people can resume some activities, at home, without wearing a mask. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors, without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart.
- Visit unvaccinated people from one other household, indoors, without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart.
- Refrain from quarantine and testing if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 if they’ve been contact with someone who has COVID-19.
Vaccinations are accelerating, but at this time, the CDC estimates that less than 10 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine. As more people are vaccinated and more data is collected, the more guidance the CDC will be able to provide more guidance. Keep in mind, while fully vaccinated can resume activities indicated above, they should still continue all mitigation strategies in public.
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
February 25, 2021
The Government of Canada has expanded its Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include an additional interest-free $20,000 loan, half of which would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. Effectively, the additional loan increases CEBA loans from $40,000 to $60,000 for eligible businesses. And $20,000 of that loan will be forgiven if you repay the balance of the loan by the end of next year. Business owners can apply through their banks and credit unions until March 31, 2021.
Visit the Government of Canada’s website to find more information on Canada’s Economic Response Plan. And to find related resources.
Small firms have exclusive two-week access to PPP
February 22, 2021
The White House is trying to help small businesses by offering them exclusive access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for two weeks. From February 24 through March 9, 2021, only businesses with fewer than 20 employees will be able to apply for relief through PPP loans. The change is aimed at helping smaller businesses, which often struggle to secure funding more than larger companies.
This is in addition to asking lawmakers to pass a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, which would provide more assistance.
Truckers entering Canada need to use the ArriveCAN app
February 22, 2021
To limit the spread of COVID-19, truck drivers crossing the Canada-U.S. border are required to use the free ArriveCAN mobile app to submit their travel and contact information. Truckers who don’t have a smartphone and therefore can’t use the app, can use a related web portal or oral declaration. Drivers who choose to use the web portal will need an email address.
Submitting the required information before crossing the border is not mandatory but is strongly recommended. Also, while truck drivers are required to submit travel and contact information, they are not required to complete the quarantine portion of the questionnaire.
Important: U.S.-based truck drivers will have to follow the same procedures when entering Canada as Canada-based drivers. However, unlike Canadian citizens, U.S. citizens can be denied entry for not complying with the act.
FMCSA extends CLP, CDL and MedCard waivers
February 16, 2021
FMCSA has announced extensions to the previous CDL/CLP and Medical Examination waivers that were set to expire the end of February. This could, potentially, be one of the last extensions. This waiver becomes effective on March 1, 2021 and expires on May 31, 2021. As with previous extensions, state drivers licensing agencies (SDLAs) can exercise discretion in extending these dates. Check with the SDLA to confirm your state’s expiration periods.
For CDL and CLP drivers
- Waive until May 31, 2021, the maximum period of CDL validity for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020
- Waive until May 31, 2021, the maximum period of CLP validity for CLPs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, without requiring the CLP holders to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests
- Waive until May 31, 2021, the requirement that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test
Medical Requirements for CDL/CLP and non-CDL drivers
- Waive, until May 31, 2021, the requirement that CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification and any required medical variance issued for 90 days or longer and that expired on or after December 1, 2020
- Waive, until May 31, 2021, the requirement that, to maintain the medical certification status of “certified,” CDL or CLP holders provide the SDLA with an original or copy of a subsequently issued medical examiner’s certificate and any required medical variance, provided they have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after December 1, 2020
- Waives, until May 31, 2021, the requirement that the SDLA change the CDL or CLP holder’s medical certification status to “not certified” upon the expiration of the medical examiner’s certificate or medical variance, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after December 1, 2020
- Waives certain requirements with regards to SDLAs downgrading a driver’s CDL or CLP upon expiration of the medical examiner’s certificate or medical variance, provided the SDLAs have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after December 1, 2020
In its notice, the FMCSA reiterates that the extension “permits, but does not require” states to extend the validity periods and processes referenced above. This means that a SDLA may choose not to extend the validity periods, based on the operational status within their state. Carriers and drivers should review this waiver, and confirm with the SDLA, to ensure all terms, conditions, and restrictions are met.
Additionally, FMCSA also announced extension of waivers related to CLP holders operating with a CDL driver in the front seat, out of state CDL applicant testing, and third-party knowledge testing.
FMCSA publishes expanded Emergency Declaration
February 16, 2021
The FMCSA just published an expanded declaration, effective February 17 through May 31, 2021. This extension includes the same regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to COVID-19, as included in the December 1 declaration. As with previous declarations, emergency regulatory relief is provided from parts 390 through 399 of the FMCSRs, including the hours-of-service regulations.
This expansion is limited to the transportation of:
- livestock and livestock feed
- medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
- vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19
- 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
- food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores
Emergency relief does not include certain FMCSRs related to the safe operation of CMVs, such as controlled substance and alcohol testing, financial responsibility requirements, CDL requirements, operation of a CMV while ill or fatigued, size and weight requirements, and additional FMCSRs which are outlined in the declaration.
Could be the last extension
While the agency has regularly extended this Emergency Declaration, this extension concludes with: “In the interest of ensuring continued commercial motor vehicle safety, it is FMCSA’s intention to wind down the exemptions granted under this Emergency Declaration and related COVID-19 regulatory relief measures to the extent possible.”
Important information about the J&J COVID vaccine
February 01, 2021
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is a single-shot vaccine that’s shown to be 72 percent effective at keeping people from being hospitalized and dying from the illness. However, data has also shown that this particular vaccine is less effective against the South African variant, known as B.1.351, which has made its way to the U.S.
This vaccine, which the FDA could authorize by the end of February, would be the third approved, available vaccine to fight this pandemic. If the FDA’s emergency authorization comes through, Johnson & Johnson expects to supply 100 million doses to the U.S by June.
Canada issues additional restrictions for international travelers
February 01, 2021
The Government of Canada is introducing additional restrictions for international travelers in response to the current pandemic conditions and virus variants that have entered circulation. These restrictions are in addition to the restrictions already in place. The Public Health Agency and Canada (PHAC) is working to security companies to ensure travelers are aware of and comply with quarantine requirements.
This requirement is effective from February 02 to May 11, 2021.
- Travelers entering Canada have a responsibility to make suitable arrangements for mandatory quarantine, which begins on the day they enter Canada. They are also required to submit COVID-19 related information electronically daily.
- Failure to provide accurate information is an offence under the Quarantine Act. In addition, violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travelers by a Screening Officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.
- PHAC currently contacts more than 6,500 travelers each day through phone calls, which verify their compliance with the mandatory isolation order.
- As of January 26, 2021, 99% of the 48,682 interventions by law enforcement have resulted in compliance by travelers. However, in a minority of cases, verbal warnings, written warnings, tickets, and charges have been issued.
- The Government of Canada is working directly with Aéroports de Montréal to offer voluntary testing on-site at the Montréal-Trudeau International Airport for arriving international travelers who wish to take a test before leaving the airport. This testing pilot project is in addition to those at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and the Calgary International Airport.
Visit the Government of Canada’s website for more on:
TSA now requires individuals to wear a face mask
February 01, 2021
The TSA will require individuals to wear a face mask at TSA airport screening checkpoints and throughout the commercial and public transportation systems. Per this order, travelers are required to wear face masks when they’re in airports, bus stations, rail stations, on the airplane, using public transportation, riding a passenger train and any over-the-road buses that operate on scheduled, fixed routes.
This requirement is effective from February 02 to May 11, 2021.
The TSA is taking this action in support of the White House’s Executive Order to promote COVID-19 safety, as well as the CDC’s requirement that individuals wear a face mask while on conveyances and at stations, ports or similar transportation hubs. Per the CDC order, your mask can be homemade or manufactured, but it needs to cover your nose and mouth, and fit snugly against the sides of your face—no gaps. And no slits, exhalation valves or punctures.
OSHA issues stronger worker safety guidance
February 01, 2021
Recently, the White House issued an Executive Order that OSHA issue stronger safety measures to protect workers during the pandemic (scroll down for White House releases Executive Order on Protecting Work Health and Safety). In response, OSHA has now issued stronger guidance to help employers and workers implement a coronavirus prevent program. And better identify risks for exposure and contraction of the COVID-19 disease.
Essential elements in a prevention program:
- Conduct a hazard assessment.
- Identify control measures to limit the spread of the virus.
- Adopt policies for employee absences that don’t punish workers as a way to encourage potentially infected workers to remain home.
- Ensure that coronavirus policies and procedures are communicated to both English and non-English speaking workers.
- Implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise coronavirus-related concerns.
New study: Temporary transit bus engineering controls to reduce COVID-19 exposure
January 28, 2021
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has published a new study, which examines how to protect transit bus operators from contracting COVID-19 during their shifts. This study describes the primary problem as, “Transit bus operators may be at risk of exposure to passengers with COVID-19 at close interactions for short periods of time and distant interactions over longer periods of time. Viral exposure risks include lack of physical distance during front door entry; lack of physical distance while supporting passengers (e.g., ADA securement); and potential air exchange hazard.”
The study investigates how to:
- reduce transit bus operators’ exposure to airborne droplets
- maximize fresh air for everyone on the bus
- determine feasibility of a temporary barrier to organize air flow and pressure
As a solution, the study examines engineering controls such as barriers to create airflow and ventilation for additional protection. In the course of the study, Virginia Tech also looked at other bus features to aid in minimizing exposure.
New order requiring international air travelers to be tested or provide proof of recovery
January 25, 2021
Anyone traveling internationally by air will need to be tested for COVID-19 no more than 3 days before their flight departs to return to the U.S. If this includes you, be prepared to show your negative test result to the airline before boarding. Or, be prepared to show documentation of recovery from COVID-19, which is proof of a recent positive test and a letter from your healthcare provider or public health official, stating you’re cleared to travel.
This order, which has been issued by the CDC, is effective starting January 26, 2021. And it replaces a previous order that requires a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test result for all air travelers arriving from the U.K. and entering the U.S.
View the order in full. (PDF)
White House releases Executive Order on Protecting Work Health and Safety
January 22, 2021
This executive order directs federal regulators—particularly the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)—to issue stronger safety measures to protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the order, OSHA is to issue updates to its COVID-related safety guidance within the next two weeks, as well as review its enforcement efforts and identify whether any short-, medium- and long-term changes can be made to better protect workers.
OSHA is also required to:
- launch a national program to focus its enforcement efforts related to COVID-19 on violations that put the largest number of workers at serious risk or are contrary to anti-retaliation principles
- coordinate with the Department of Labor’s Office of Public Affairs and Office of Public Engagement and all regional OSHA offices to conduct, consistent with applicable law, a multilingual outreach campaign to inform workers and their representatives of their rights under applicable law
Additionally, OSHA must also determine if an emergency standard, which would include mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing, is necessary. If so, OSHA must issue that standard by the middle of March.
Read the Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety in full on the White House website.
Tax season starts February 12, refunds expected to be issued quickly
January 22, 2021
The IRS has just announced that tax season for the U.S. starts Friday, February 12, 2021. The tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns on that date. This start date allows the IRS time to do additional programming and testing of IRS systems, following the December 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits.
According to the IRS website, “Overall, the IRS anticipates nine out of 10 taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically with direct deposit if there are no issues with their tax return. The IRS urges taxpayers and tax professionals to file electronically. To avoid delays in processing, people should avoid filing paper returns wherever possible.”
SBA has already forgiven more than 1.1 million PPP loans
January 15, 2021
As of its latest press release, the SBA has received 1,346,125 forgiveness applications for approximately $170.5 billion. The SBA has made payment on nearly 85% of the applications, forgiving over $100 billion. For the smallest borrowers with loans up to $50,000, 88% have been approved for forgiveness. This new data comes as the PPP has recently been approved to reopen.
CDC offers guidance for air travelers arriving in the U.S.
January 15, 2021
According to new CDC guidance, people traveling internationally need to get tested for COVID-19 before flying back into the U.S. If not, they should be prepared to show proof of a recent positive viral test, plus a letter from their healthcare provider or public health official, clearing them to travel. The CDC has also issued an order, effective January 26, 2021, that all air passengers arriving in the U.S. from another country should be tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs from that country. They also need either proof of the negative test result or documentation that they’ve recovered from COVID-19 before they board their flight.
- Who this applies to
All air passengers, 2 years of age or older, traveling into the U.S., including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.
Note: The airline will check your documentation before boarding you.
- Required documentation of test result
The CDC requires that air passengers arriving in the U.S. have a paper or electronic copy of their test result for the airline to review before letting you board.
- When to be tested
No more than 3 days before your U.S.-bound flight departs. Make sure that you receive results before your flight departs and have documentation of those results to show the airline.
- If you test positive
Airlines must refuse to board anyone who doesn’t provide a negative test COVID-19 result or documentation of recovery. Self-isolate and delay travel until you recover if symptoms develop or a pre-departure test result is positive.
- If you’ve recently recovered from COVID-19
It is not recommended that you get tested again in the 3 months after a positive test, as long as you don’t have symptoms. If you’ve had a positive viral test in the past 3 months and met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with documentation of positive results and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you’re clear for travel.
- If you don’t get tested before flying to the U.S.
If you choose not to provide a test result or documentation of recovery, the airline must deny boarding.
- If you’ve been vaccinated
All air passengers traveling to the U.S., regardless of vaccination status, need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.
SBA publishes guidance for new round of PPP loans
January 14, 2021
Now that Congress has approved reopening the Paycheck Protection Program with a new round of loan funding, the SBA and the Department of Treasury have released guidance to provide clarity for First Draw and certain eligible Second Draw borrowers. PPP funds can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. And they may be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.
First Draw PPP Loans
First Draw PPP loans are available for first-time program participants who did not borrow per the program the first time it was opened.
Second Draw PPP Loans
Second Draw PPP loans are for certain participants who have already received a PPP loan. Per the SBA, the PPP now allows certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan with the same general loan terms as their First Draw PPP Loan.
The FTA offers PTASP webinar: Implementing an Agency Safety Plan During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
January 14, 2021
The FTA is continuing its webinar series to provide transit agencies technical assistance on the PTASP regulation. The agency’s upcoming webinar will provide states and transit agencies with sample approaches to implementing an Agency Safety Plan during this pandemic.
Implementing an Agency Safety Plan During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
1:30 p.m. ET
CDC expands COVID-19 vaccination guidelines
January 14, 2021
The CDC has expanded its vaccination guidelines to include people who are 65 years of age and older, as well as those younger than 64 years of age but who have comorbid conditions. If every state adopts these guidelines, tens of millions of Americans will become eligible to receive the vaccine.
U.S.-Canadian border remains closed until February 21, 2021
January 12, 2021
The U. S. -Canada border will remain closed to all nonessential travel through Feb. 21. The border was initially closed in March 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19, and has been renewed every month since. Only trade in goods and merchandise and essential travel are allowed.
Treasury Department issuing prepaid debit cards to ease economic impact
January 11, 2021
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS have started sending approximately 8 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) by prepaid debit cards. This follows the millions of payments already provided through direct deposit and the ongoing mailing of paper checks.
What to look for
- EIP cards will be sent in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal.
- The EIP card itself has the Visa name on the front and the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A. on the back.
Each mailing will include instructions for securely activating and using the EIP card.
New CVSA Inspection Bulletin: 2021-02 Transportation of the COVID-19 Vaccine
January 8, 2021
The CVSA posted a new inspection bulletin on the transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine. Because the vaccine is temperature sensitive, the bulletin advises that vaccine shipments should not be held up for inspection, unless there’s an obvious, serious violation that’s an imminent hazard.
$284 billion of new PPP funding approved
January 4, 2021
The new $900 billion COVID relief bill, which was recently approved, includes $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). First-time borrowers are said to be eligible under the program’s original requirements. Businesses that received funds during the program’s first round are eligible for another loan. However, these “second draw” PPP loans are limited to businesses:
- that employ no more than 300 employees (instead of the first round’s 500)
- have used, or have plans to use, all of the first round of PPP funds
- have a quarterly gross revenue that was at least 25% lower than the same quarter in 2019
Also, the maximum loan amount for second-draw loans will be capped at $2 million instead of the $10 million as was the cap for the first round.
FMCSA offers clarity about COVID and cross-border transportation
January 4, 2021
The FMCSA recently published its answer to two questions: one regarding its Waiver for states, CDL and CLP holders and Interstate CMV drivers, and the other regarding expiring driver’s licenses and medical examiner’s certificates.
Does the FMCSA Waiver for States, CDL Holders, CLP Holders, and Interstate Drivers Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles (effective January 1, 2021) also apply to foreign drivers operating in the U.S. with commercial driver’s licenses issued by Canadian Provinces and Territories and Licencias Federales de Conductor issued by the United Mexican States?
Yes, the FMCSA continues to recognize the validity of those commercial driver’s licenses, when such jurisdictions issue a similar notice or declaration extending the validity date of the medical examination and certification and/or validity of the corresponding commercial driver’s license due to interruption to government service resulting from COVID-19.
Does the FMCSA’s Notice of Enforcement Policy Regarding Expiring Driver’s Licenses and Medical Examiner’s Certificates during the COVID-19 National Emergency (effective January 1, 2021) also continue to recognize the validity of commercial driver’s licenses issued by Canadian Provinces and Territories and Licencias Federales de Conductor issued by the United Mexican States, when such jurisdictions issue a similar notice or declaration extending the validity date of the medical examination and certification and/or validity of the corresponding commercial driver’s license due to interruption to government service resulting from COVID-19?