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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.

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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.

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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.

Visit the Paycheck Protection Program’s website for resources.

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.

Learn more about this story.

Download the free ArriveCAN mobile app.

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

For SDLAs

  • 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.

Read the FMCSA’s notice and waiver in full.

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.”

Visit the FMCSA’s website for more details.

Download the newly published FMCSA Emergency Declaration. (PDF)

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.

Learn more about the J&J COVID-19 vaccine.

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:

Canada’s additional travel restrictions

Canada’s complete set of travel restrictions and exemptions

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.

Learn more about the TSA’s new requirement.

Learn more about the CDC’s face mask requirement.

Read the DOT’s FAQ about face mask requirements while on conveyances and at transportation hubs.

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.

Read the full press release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Read OSHA’s guidance, Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.

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.

Download the complete study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. (PDF)

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.

Learn more and browse FAQs on the CDC’s website.

View the order in full. (PDF)

View the passenger attestation. (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.”

Visit the IRS website to learn more.

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.

Read the SBA’s full press release.

Learn more about the PPP.

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.

Visit the CDC’s FAQ page for more information and resources.

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.

Visit the SBA website to learn more.

And learn about PPP loan forgiveness.

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

Register for the webinar.

Learn more about the PTASP Regulation.

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.

Read more about vaccine and eligibility on the CDC website.

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.

Read the official press release for more information.

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.

Read the CVSA Inspection Bulletin for COVID-19 transportation. (pdf)

$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.

Learn more on Commercial Carrier Journal.

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?

Yes

Read the questions and answers in full on the FMCSA’s website.

Industry Updates with Zonar's Safety & Compliance Experts

December 22, 2020

Phase IV COVID-19 Relief Bill passed

December 22, 2020

Last night, the House and the Senate approved a legislative package comprised of a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, annual government funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, and a host of miscellaneous provisions. This relief bill is expected to be signed promptly.

This relief bill includes $284 billion for a “second draw” PPP loan program.

  • Small businesses with no more than 300 employees and that can show they’ve experienced a 25 percent or greater reduction in gross revenues in 2020 when compared to corresponding quarters in 2019 are eligible for a second round of PPP loans of 2.5 times average monthly payroll costs, up to a maximum of $2 million. The new program maintains the requirement to spend at least 60 percent of the loan on payroll costs to be eligible for full loan forgiveness.
  • Eligible expenses for the “second draw” program and the original PPP program are expanded to include items such as essential preexisting supplier costs, expenditures on worker PPE, and certain operations expenditures.
  • For loans under $150,000, Congress directed a simplified loan forgiveness application to be used for “second draw” loans and original PPP loans.
  • As with the original PPP program, Treasury will issue rulemaking fleshing out the new programs on an emergency basis, as ambiguities inevitably arise.

The legislation also includes an additional $20 billion for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and provides that EIDL loan advances do not have to be deducted from any PPP forgiveness amount. Congress directed SBA to issue rulemaking to make whole borrowers who have received forgiveness under the prior law requiring the advance be deducted. The bill provides $14 billion in COVID-19 emergency funding for public transit and $1 billion for Amtrak. In annual appropriations, the bill provides $15.5 billion for public transportation and passenger rail, an increase of more than $100 million from FY 2020 enacted levels.

Read the full bill in its entirety.

CDC guidance on COVID-19 vaccines and severe allergic reactions

December 22, 2020

Some people have experienced severe allergic reactions—also known as anaphylaxis—after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. And the CDC has published guidance for those who are concerned about having such a reaction. Per the CDC, if you’ve ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, or if you’ve had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies, ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.

  • People with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as allergies to food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex—may still get vaccinated.
  • People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions, or who might have a milder allergy to vaccines (no anaphylaxis)—may also still get vaccinated.
  • If you have a severe allergic reaction after getting the first shot, you should not get the second shot. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist in allergies and immunology to provide more care or advice.
  • You should be monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have a history of allergies, make it 30 minutes.
  • If you have an adverse reaction, vaccination providers must give you care as quickly as possible in case of a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine. Once the emergency is under control, you are advised to be monitored for several hours.
  • If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical attention by calling 911.

Read the CDC’s guidance in full.

FMCSA waiver in response to COVID-19, for states, CDL & CLP holders, and interstate drivers

December 18, 2020

The FMCSA has granted this waiver from certain regulations that apply to interstate and intrastate CDL holders, CLP holders, and other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles. This waiver becomes effective on January 1, 2021, and expires on February 28, 2021. Please note, SDLAs have the authority to exercise discretion in extending these dates, consistent with the outline below. Check with the SDLA to confirm your state’s expiration periods

For CDL and CLP drivers, this waiver will:

  • Waive until February 28, 2021, the maximum period of CDL validity for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020
  • Waive until February 28, 2021, the maximum period of CLP validity for CLPs that are due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, without requiring the CLP holders to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests
  • Waive until February 28, 2021, the requirement that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test

Medical requirements for CDL, CLP and non-CDL drivers

  • This notice will waive, until February 28, 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 that were issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after September 1, 2020.
  • This notice will also waive 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 that they have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after September 1, 2020.

For State Driver License Agencies (SDLA)

This notice waives, until February 28, 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 September 1, 2020. Additionally, the notice waives certain requirements with regards to SDLAs downgrading a drivers 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 September 1, 2020.

Read the full waiver on the FMCSA’s website.

PTASP Notice of Enforcement Discretion (December 2020)

December 14, 2020

Previously, the deadline for PTASP compliance had been extended to December 31, 2020. Now, due to the pandemic, the FTA has announced some relief for transit agencies still working toward PTASP compliance, including another extension to the deadline for compliance and a new date for enforcement.

  • Transit agencies subject to the PTASP regulation now have until July 20, 2021, to comply.
  • The FTA will wait until July 21, 2021, before taking enforcement action.

The PTASP regulations requires specific transit agencies to incorporate Safety Management System (SMS) policies and procedures as they develop safety plans to manage safety risks. Even under these difficult circumstances, the FTA still expects transit agencies to work toward compliance. If your agency needs expert help, contact our dedicated team of safety and compliance experts.

Read the FTA’s announcement.

Download the full Notice of Enforcement Discretion.

Read the FTA’s FAQ regarding COVID-19.

Read the CDC’s FAQ about COVID-19 vaccinations

December 14, 2020

Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. federal government has been working to make one or more COVID-19 vaccines available as soon as possible. The CDC has no role in developing the vaccine itself, but the agency has been working closely with health departments and partners in developing vaccination plans for when one is available. Now, the CDC is working partners at all levels, including healthcare associations, on flexible COVID-19 vaccination programs that accommodate different vaccines and scenarios.

To help the public stay informed, the CDC has put together an FAQ page with information on:

  • The planning for vaccinations
  • Vaccine availability
  • Protecting yourself until a vaccine available for you
  • Vaccine development
  • Getting vaccinated
  • Who pays for the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Vaccinations and face masks

Visit the CDC’s FAQ page for answers to those questions and more.

Border restrictions extended through January 21, 2021

December 11, 2020

Due to the spike in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths, the U.S., Mexico and Canada have agreed to extend current restrictions on non-essential travel across these respective borders. Now that progress is being made on reviewing vaccines, these restrictions will be reevaluated early in the new year. For now, the new extension runs through January 21, 2021.

State COVID-19 vaccination distribution plans are being released

December 9, 2020

The FDA is in the final stages of approving a COVID-19 vaccination. With that, each U.S. state is required to formulate a vaccine distribution plan, and submit a plan to the CDC outlining how that state intends to distribute that vaccine. Most states are expected to focus their initial allocation of vaccine to health care providers, long term care facilities and vulnerable populations. However, each state will have more autonomy to distribute the vaccine to other essential businesses—such as those in the trucking industry—beyond that initial allocation.

Many states have already released their vaccine distribution plan. Others are close to finalizing theirs. Visit Stateside’s State Vaccination Plans for more information.

COVID-19 vaccines are almost ready–and so are scammers

December 9, 2020

Vaccines are in the works, and states are developing their distribution plans. Meanwhile, scammers are also waiting to use this opportunity to prey on people for a profit. The Federal Trade Commission has published a list of red flags to watch for and resources for more information. The more informed you are, the less likely you’ll be to fall victim to scammers.

Per the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Information:

  • You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency.
  • You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
  • You can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine.
  • No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
  • Beware of providers offering other products, treatments, or medicines to prevent the virus. Check with your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.

If you get a call, text, email—or even someone knocking on your door—claiming they can get you early access to the vaccine, STOP. That’s a scam. Don’t pay for a promise of vaccine access or share personal information. Instead, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov or file a complaint with your state or territory attorney general through consumerresources.org, the consumer website of the National Association of Attorneys General.

Read more on the FTC’s website.

CDC shortens its COVID-19 quarantine period

December 7, 2020

The CDC has revised its guidelines for people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Now, instead of the 14-day quarantine the agency has been recommending, the CDC says that potential exposure warrants a quarantine of 10 or seven days, depending on the person’s test results and symptoms.

The CDC maintains that a 14-day quarantine remains the safest option but also acknowledges that this length of time can be difficult. People should still watch closely for symptoms for a full 14 days after possible exposure. Individuals who do not develop symptoms need only quarantine for 10 days; if they test negative, just one week will suffice.

Read more on the CDC’s website.

FTA updates its FAQ about COVID-19 for greater clarity for grantees

December 4, 2020

The FTA has updated its FAQ on how COVID-19 preparations impact certain FTA requirements. Information contained in the FAQ covers resources available for transit agency use and eligibility of mitigation activities for FTA funding. Also included are recommendations from the CDC to help grantees and subgrantees prepare for COVID-19.

The revised questions include:

  • FTA Formula Funding Under Emergency Relief Program (ER4)
    • When will this emergency relief program eligibility be effective and for how long?
  • CARES & ER Funding Requirements (CE4)
    • Can CARES Act funds or Urbanized Area Formula Grants (Section 5307) and the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program (Section 5311) funds administered under the provisions of the Emergency Relief program (49 USC 5324) be used for the operating costs of essential services such as meal delivery?
  • Civil Rights (CR2 and CR15)
    • Are Title VI equity analyses required for emergency service cuts and changes during COVID-19?
    • Are there Title VI concerns if a transit agency adopts a temporary cashless or cash-free fare media policy?
  • CARES & ER Funding Requirements (CE4)
    • Can CARES Act funds or Urbanized Area Formula Grants (Section 5307) and the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program (Section 5311) funds administered under the provisions of the Emergency Relief program (49 USC 5324) be used for the operating costs of essential services such as meal delivery?
  • Administrative Relief (AD6, AD7 and AD17)
    • Can I request an extension of the use of the current indirect cost rate or submission of indirect cost rate proposal?
    • What can I do if I need additional time to submit required final reports for the purpose of closing my award?
    • Will FTA waive the “Levels of Service” requirement for Capital Investment Grant projects?

Read the FTA’s full FAQ for answers.

How the CDC is making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations

December 4, 2020

When the FDA authorizes or approves a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will quickly hold a public meeting to review all available data about that vaccine. The ACIP will also vote on whether to recommend the vaccine and, if so, who should receive it.

Visit the CDC’s webpage to learn more about:

  • the CDC’s recommendations
  • what goes into prioritization
  • goals if the vaccine supply is limited
  • other frameworks for making decisions

Visit the CDC’s webpage for information and more resources.

FMCSA expands and extends its Emergency Declaration

December 2, 2020

The FMCSA has expanded and extended its Emergency Declaration to February 28, 2021. The biggest change in this declaration is the addition of vaccine and vaccine supply transportation to the list of emergency relief items (see third bullet).

  • 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:

  • controlled substance and alcohol testing
  • financial responsibility requirements
  • CDL requirements
  • operation of a CMV while ill or fatigued
  • size and weight requirements
  • other FMCSR’s outlined in the declaration

Read the FMCSA’s full press release.

Download the modified Emergency Declaration.

OSHA clarifies whether or not face coverings are PPE

November 30, 2020

The CDC recently determined that some cloth face coverings may provide source control (limit the wearer’s airborne particles from spreading) and offer some personal protection for the wearer. Now, OSHA has updated its FAQ to address whether cloth face coverings are considered PPE. In a recent press release, OSHA clarifies that the agency does not believe there is adequate information at this time to determine “…if a particular cloth face covering provides sufficient protection from the coronavirus hazard to be personal protective equipment under OSHA’s standard.”

Visit the updated FAQ to for more on:

  • What are the key differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks, and respirators?
  • If workers wear cloth face coverings, do employers still need to ensure social distancing measures in the workplace?
  • Since the CDC has determined that some cloth face coverings may both serve as source control and provide some personal protection to the wearer, will OSHA consider them to be personal protective equipment under 29 CFR 1910.132?

In its press release, OSHA goes on to state that it, “…continues to encourage workers strongly to wear face coverings when in close contact with others to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, if it is appropriate for the work environment.”

Read OSHA’s full press release.

Read OSHA’s FAQ.

Visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage.

U.S.-Canadian border to stay closed through December 21

November 20, 2020

Most non-essential travel between the U.S. and Canada has been shut down or restricted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. And officials on both sides of the border have agreed to extend the current travel restrictions through December 21, 2020.

Clarifying the Deductibility of Expenses Where a Business Received a PPP Loan

November 20, 2020

The U.S. IRS has released guidance around the tax treatment for expenses where a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan hasn’t been forgiven by the end of the year in which that loan was received.

Key takeaways

  • Because businesses aren’t taxed on the proceeds of a forgiven PPP loan, the expenses aren’t deductible.
  • If a business reasonably believes that a PPP loan will be forgiven in the future, expenses related to the loan aren’t deductible—whether the business has filed for forgiveness or not.
  • If a PPP loan was expected to be forgiven but isn’t, businesses will be able to deduct those expenses.

View the revenue ruling.

View the revenue procedure.

What long-haul truckers need to know about COVID-19

November 13, 2020

Long-haul truckers spend a lot of time alone in the cab of their truck. But, because of the nature of their job, they’ll be at greater risk of exposure. They travel, and they come into contact with a lot of people. The CDC has released guidance specifically for long-haul truck drivers so they can protect themselves as best they can.

Highlights of the CDC’s guidance for long-haul truck drivers.

  • Notify your supervisor and stay home if you have symptoms.
  • Make a plan with your employer and your family as to what to do if you become sick while you’re on the road. Include where to stop, where and how to seek medical advice and treatment, and plans for freight delivery.
  • Follow CDC-recommended steps if you are sick. Don’t go back to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met. Talk to your doctors and healthcare providers.
  • Follow CDC recommended precautions and notify your supervisor if you are well but have a sick family member at home with COVID-19.
  • Limit close contact with others by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet when possible.
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing is difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching surfaces often touched by others when outside of the cab.
  • Don’t share PPE, tools, phones, radios, or other personal items.
  • Use pre-qualified truck stops or hotels identified by your employer as having appropriate COVID-19 protections.
  • Continue complying with current FMCSA regulations.
  • If any directive from your employer or a shipper is unclear, ask questions.

Learn about the above guidelines in more detail. And see what steps employers can take to protect drivers and reduce transmission.

Read full article from the CDC.

U.S. Department of Labor provides $1.5 billion in funds to help dislocated workers

November 2, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor is providing $1.5 billion in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult and Dislocated Worker program funds to states and territories. The WIOA Adult and Dislocated Worker program provides services to businesses and supports the public workforce system in filling 6.6 million job postings.

This program also helps job seekers with barriers to employment gain new skills and find in-demand, meaningful jobs in sectors that are expected to significantly grow.

Learn more about the WIOA Adult and Dislocated Worker program.

Main Street Lending Program adjusted to better support small businesses

November 2, 2020

The Federal Reserve Board has just adjusted the terms of the Main Street Lending Program to better support smaller businesses. Combined, these smaller businesses employ millions of workers, yet still face continued revenue shortfalls because of COVID-19.

  • The minimum loan size for three Main Street facilities available to for- and non-profit borrowers has been reduced to $100,000 (instead of $250,000).
  • The fees have been adjusted to encourage the provision of these smaller loans.

Read the Federal Reserve’s full press release.

And learn more about the Main Street Lending Program.

Canadian and U.S. border closed until November 21.

October 19, 2020

Canada and the U.S. are keeping their shared border closed until at least November 21, 2020. The previous border closure agreement was set to expire on October 21, but with efforts to combat COVID-19 continuing, the agreement is being extended in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Visit the Government of Canada’s website to learn more about border measures and requirements.

SBA publishes new guidance for PPP borrowers and lenders.

October 16, 2020

In consultation with the Department of Treasury, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has published updated guidance to address questions concerning forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, as provided for under section 1106 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This newly published document addresses frequently asked questions by borrowers and lenders, and includes FAQ on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

Select questions included in the 11-page document

  • Which loan forgiveness application should sole proprietors, independent contractors or self-employed individuals with no employees complete?
  • Can PPP lenders use scanned copies of documents, E-signatures or Econsents for loan forgiveness applications and loan forgiveness documentation?
  • If a borrower submits a timely loan forgiveness application, does the borrower have to make any payments on its loan prior to SBA remitting the forgiveness amount, if any?
  • The PPP loan forgiveness application forms (3508, 3508EZ, and 3508S) display an expiration date of 10/31/2020 in the upper-right corner. Is October 31, 2020 the deadline for borrowers to apply for forgiveness?
  • Are payroll costs that were incurred during the Covered Period2 or the Alternative Payroll Covered Period3 but paid after the Covered Period or the Alternative Payroll Covered Period eligible for loan forgiveness?
  • Are payroll costs that were incurred before the Covered Period but paid during the Covered Period eligible for loan forgiveness?
  • Are borrowers required to calculate payroll costs for partial pay periods?

Read the PPP Loan Forgiveness FAQ document in full.

Visit the U.S. Department of Treasure for more on the CARES Act and Small Business PPP loans.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is here.

October 14, 2020

October is the CISA’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Cybercriminals have changed their approach, forcing businesses and organizations to do the same. Navigating our way through this pandemic has made this annual observation even more important. The CISA is taking this opportunity to offer numerous tip sheets and resources to serve as your invaluable tools for reducing cybersecurity attacks and protecting yourself online.

Use these resources in your communities. Share them with your stakeholders throughout the year. Let's all encourage strong, nationwide cybersecurity practices.

Visit the CISA's NCSAM page to learn more about the campaign.

Access the CISA's library of free, modifiable cybersecurity materials.

Keep up with key FMCSA information, including extended CDL and CLP waivers.

October 12, 2020

The FMCSA is continually working to provide commercial trucking professionals and carriers greater flexibility in today’s challenging environment. To make sure you’re following the latest regulations, visit the FMCSA’s Information and Resources page to view:

  • the latest emergency declarations
  • commercial driver’s license actions
  • limited waivers
  • guidance for leveraging technology to conduct compliance reviews
  • information on border transportation
  • information on local shelter in place and restrictions on movements
  • drug and alcohol testing
  • state driver’s licensing agencies (SDLAs)
  • state emergency declarations
  • other resources

For example, the FMCSA has extended several waivers pertaining to expiring commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) and commercial learner’s permits (CLPs) through the end of the year. Keep up with the latest the FMCSA is doing to help you get through this pandemic. Visit the FMCSA’s Information and Resources page.

New, simpler forgiveness application for PPP loans of $50,000 or less

October 12, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, has released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. The new streamlined application is designed to make providing financial relief for small businesses easier and protect taxpayer dollars at the same time.

View the new, simpler loan application.

View the new application’s instructions.

View the Final Rule for the PPP loan forgiveness for loans of $50,000 or less.

TSA Updates Security Operations, Safety Protocols

October 8, 2020

TSA has made changes at security checkpoints to make the security screening process safer for the health and safety of its employees and the traveling public. Before traveling, it is recommended that you check the TSA Coronavirus Response pages for updated travel guidance through security checkpoints.

Read more

CDC to Fund Jurisdictions for COVID-19 Vaccine Preparedness

October 2, 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the CDC will provide $200 to 64 jurisdictions through the existing Immunizations and Vaccines for Children cooperative agreement. The funds, calculated and dispersed to each jurisdiction through a population-based formula, will help states update and implement vaccination plans in preparation for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more

CDC Updates Steps to Disinfect Your Facility

October 2, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have updated cleaning and disinfecting guidelines for facilities, including everyday steps, what to do when someone is sick and considerations for employers.

Read more

Transport Canada Extends Temporary Certificates

October 2, 2020

Late last week Transport Canada renewed a number of Temporary Certificates, including training, tank inspections and hand sanitizer relief, until January 31, 2021 aimed as providing assistance to the industry as COVID recovery efforts continue.

Read more

FMCSA: Guidance on cross-border transportation and COVID-19

September 23, 2020

The FMCSA has published two important questions and answers regarding cross-border transportation during this pandemic.

Does the September 18, 2020, FMCSA Waiver issued in Response to the COVID-19 National Emergency also apply to foreign drivers operating in the United States with commercial driver’s licenses issued by Canadian Provinces and Territories and Licencias Federales de Conductor issued by the United Mexican States?

Per the FMCSA: Yes. In accordance with 49 CFR 383.23(a)(1) and 391.41(a)(1)(i), FMCSA continues 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, in accordance with 49 CFR part 383, 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 FMCSA’s September 18, 2020 Notice of Enforcement Policy Regarding Expiring Driver’s Licenses and Medical Examiner’s Certificates during the COVID-19 National Emergency 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, in accordance with 49 CFR part 383, 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?

Per the FMCSA: Yes.

Visit the FMCSA’s website to view and download this information.

CDC: Updated guidance for reopening buildings after prolonged shutdown or reduced operation

September 23, 2020

Shutting down a building or reducing its operation over a prolonged period of time also means reductions in normal water usage. And that can create health hazards for people upon their return. The CDC has updated its guidance for ensuring the safety of your building water system and devices.

Summary of changes

  • Added guidance for lead and copper in building water systems with low or no use
  • Added guidance for mold awareness, monitoring, and remediation during and after prolonged building shutdowns
  • Updated Legionella guidance for people with weakened immune systems and the use of respiratory protection when flushing water systems
  • Updated title to reflect content

Visit the CDC’s website for the full, up-to-date guidance.

FMCSA: Revised, expanded FAQ for state driver licensing agencies and commercial drivers

September 23, 2020

The FMCSA has updated its compiled list of responses to frequently asked questions regarding State Driver Licensing Agencies or commercial driver’s license holders. These questions focus on actions they may take during the current COVID-19 pandemic and that are permissible under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Questions include:

  • Does FMCSA’s Emergency Declaration exempt States from the regulatory requirements in 49 CFR parts 383 and 384?
  • May an SDLA use a contractor to issue or renew CLP credentials?
  • If an SDLA renews a CLP or CDL online, may the SDLA keep the same photograph for an additional renewal cycle?
  • May National Guard members who hold a civilian CDL operate a passenger bus if they do not have a passenger/school bus endorsement?
  • During the COVID-19 national emergency, may an SDLA issue a CLP or CDL to a new driver applicant who does not have, and has never held, a Medical Examiner’s Certificate?
  • Under FMCSA’s Emergency Declaration, may an SDLA issue a CLP or CDL to a driver without requiring the driver to take a skills test?

Visit the FMCSA website for answers to these and other FAQ.

Non-essential travel across U.S. land borders limitations extended

September 21, 2020

To continue limiting the spread of COVID-19, the U.S. has reached agreements with Canada and Mexico to limit all non-essential travel across the shared borders until October 31, 2020.

“Non-essential” travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. Each country recognizes that it’s critical to preserve supply chains and keep essential goods moving across the border to ensure food, fuel and life-saving medicines reach people on both sides of the border. Supply chains, including trucking, will not be impacted by this new measure. Neither will Americans and Canadians who also cross the land border every day to do essential work or for other urgent or essential reasons.

These measures were first put in in place March 2020. These limitations have been regularly reevaluated and extended since.

Read the Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet for more information.

FMCSA issues specific waivers for states, CDL/CLP holders and Interstate CMV drivers

September 18, 2020

The FMCSA has just announced an extension of the CDL/CLP waiver that was set to expire on September 30, 2020. This new waiver becomes effective on October 1, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2020. Dates and applicability vary per waiver, so make sure you pay attention to the ones that apply to you.

For CDL/CLP drivers

  • Waiver extends until December 31, 2020, the maximum period of CDL validity for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020.
  • Waiver extends until December 31, 2020, the maximum period of CLP validity for CLPs that are due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, without requiring the CLP holders to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests.
  • Waive until December 31, 2020, the requirement that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test.

Medical Requirements for CDL/CLP and non-CDL drivers

This notice will waive the requirement that CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers have a medical examination and certification if they have proof of a valid medical certification and any required medical variance that were issued for a period of 90 days or longer. This notice will also waive 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.

Read the waiver for important details.

The notice contains more dates and nuances for specific aspects for the waiver. Review this waiver in full to make sure you meet all terms, conditions, and restrictions within the specified dates.

FMCSA extends its Emergency Declaration through the year

September 14, 2020

The FMCSA’s Emergency Declaration, which was set to expire September 14, 2020, has been extended until December 31, 2020. This extension includes the same regulator relief for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of COVID-19 relief efforts as outlined in the August 15 modified and extended declaration. Under this declaration, emergency regulatory relief is provided from parts 390 through 399 of the FMCSRs, including the hours-of-service regulations.

Specifically, the 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
  • 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 FMCSR’s 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 FMCSR’s which are outlined in the declaration.

Read the extended declaration in full.

DHS updates its Master Question List for COVID-19

September 11, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has updated its Master Question List (MQL) about COVID-19. The MQL quickly summarizes what’s known, what additional information is needed, and who may be working to address fundamental questions as, “What is the infectious dose?” and “How long does the virus persist in the environment?”

The MQL is intended to:

  • quickly present the current state of available information to government decision makers in the operational response to COVID-19
  • allow structured and scientifically guided discussions across the federal government, without burdening them with the need to review scientific reports
  • prevent duplication of efforts by highlighting and coordinating research

Read the MQL.

CBP to reopen Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers.

September 9, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced plans for reopening Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers to the public, starting September 8. Developed in consultation with CBP health and safety experts, these plans include measures to minimize risk of COVID-19 exposure for travelers and CBP personnel.

What to know

  • Conditionally approved Global Entry applicants will soon be able to complete in-person interviews at most U.S. enrollment centers. (Schedule in advance by logging in the Trusted Travelers Programs website.)
  • Due to temporary travel restrictions at U.S. land borders, service at some enrollment centers remain suspended until further notice.
  • CBP has introduced new health and safety measures, including social distancing and face mask requirements.

Applicants who visit enrollment centers may also observe:

  • staggered or reduced appointment availability
  • the elimination of sign-in sheets and certain other touch points
  • limited seating in waiting areas
  • more frequent disinfection of the service counters
  • plexiglass barriers and/or facial shields at service counters

Applicants are still required to submit fingerprints during their interview to complete the enrollment process.

Read the full press release for more information and resources.

Temporary halt in residential evictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

September 4, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a new, four-month, residential eviction moratorium. This temporary measure is meant to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, and is effective from September 4, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

This moratorium applies to:

  • Individuals expecting to earn less than $99,000 in 2020
  • Couples expecting to earn less than $198,000 in 2020

Per the official order in the Federal Register: “In the context of a pandemic, eviction moratoria—like quarantine, isolation, and social distancing—can be an effective public health measure utilized to prevent the spread of communicable disease. Eviction moratoria facilitate self-isolation by people who become ill or who are at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 due to an underlying medical condition. They also allow State and local authorities to more easily implement stay-at-home and social distancing directives to mitigate the community spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, housing stability helps protect public health because homelessness increases the likelihood of individuals moving into congregate settings, such as homeless shelters, which then puts individuals at higher risk to COVID-19.”

Read the full Order in the Federal Register for more information.

U.S. DOL and ETA publish guidance related to reopening schools.

August 31, 2020

As schools reopen, they face new questions, including those around eligibility for paid leave and pandemic unemployment assistance. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for workers and employers about qualifying for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The new FAQs explain:

  • Eligibility for paid leave relative to the varied formats and schedules schools have announced as they plan to reopen, including blending in-person with distance learning.
  • Coverage from the employer’s and the employee’s perspective.
  • Application details such as counting hours, calculating pay and considerations for those caring for a child or sick family member.
  • Enforcement information such as effective dates and what to do if an employer refuses to provide paid sick leave.

WHD is providing this information to explain the benefits and protections available under both the paid sick leave and the expanded family and medical leave provisions of FFCRA. Read the WHD’s FAQ in full.

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) also released guidance that provides states with information regarding the eligibility of individuals who are caregivers for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) under the CARES Act.

Read the ETA’s guidance in full.

CISA’s Cyber Essentials Toolkits provides resources to businesses be cyber ready.

August 31, 2020

With the significant shift to working remotely due to the pandemic comes new cyber security threats. To help businesses increase their cyber readiness, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) is working to provide useful resources to the broader community so that businesses are better equipped to face and deal with these new threats. The CISA’s Cyber Essentials Toolkit is a set of modules designed to break down the CISA Cyber Essentials into bite-sized actions for IT and C-suite leadership to work toward full implementation of each Cyber Essential. Each chapter focuses on recommended actions to build cyber readiness into the six interrelated aspects of an organizational culture of cyber readiness.

  • Chapter 1: Yourself, The Leader
  • Chapter 2: Your Staff, The Users
  • Chapter 3: Your Systems, What Makes You Operational

Visit the CISA website to access its Cyber Essentials Toolkits.

Canadian government updates its guidance for commercial fleets.

August 28, 2020

The Canadian federal government is sharing its updated safety guidance to protect drivers and limit the spread of COVID-19 in commercial vehicle operations. This guidance has been updated to reflect the latest public health terminology with the current context of COVID-19.

  • List of symptoms
  • Physical vs. social distancing
  • Use of non-medical masks

Read the full guidance.

CISA updates its Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance.

August 28, 2020

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released an update to its Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance to reflect the changing landscape of the nation’s COVID-19 response. Earlier versions were primarily intended to help officials and organizations identify essential work functions to allow them access to their workplaces during times of community restrictions. However, Version 4.0 identifies those essential workers that require specialized risk management strategies.

The guidance also identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including workers who support crucial supply chains and enable functions for critical infrastructure. The trucking industry was included in previous versions of the guidance document and it remains listed in Version 4.0.

Read the full guidance.

CDC offers guidance for traveling safely during a pandemic.

August 26, 2020

Traveling is risky, but sometimes necessary. The CDC offers guidance to minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others.

  • Don’t travel if you’re sick or you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 over the past 14 days.
  • Stay informed about the infection rates at your destination.
  • Reconsider your risk if you live with someone at greater risk.
  • Check travel restrictions at your destination.
  • Wear a mask and wash your hands.
  • Practice social and physical distancing.
  • Plan your health and safety strategy according to your method of travel.

Read the CDC’s complete guidance for more information and details for staying safe.

CDC removes 14-day quarantine recommendation for traveling out of state.

August 26, 2020

If you’re returning after traveling out of state or overseas, the CDC has lifted its recommendation to self-quarantine for two weeks. Regardless of where you’ve traveled or what your activities involved, the CDC still recommends that you follow social distancing guidelines indoors and outdoors, wear a mask outside the home, wash hands often and look for COVID-19 symptoms upon your return home. Also keep in mind that different states may have different requirements, so be mindful and follow your local and state government directives.

SBA issues new IFR regarding loan forgiveness eligibility.

August 26, 2020

The U.S. SBA has issued a new Interim Final Rule (IFR) regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The IFR deals with the treatment of owners and the eligibility of loan forgiveness of certain nonpayroll costs.

Read the SBA’s IFR in full.

DOL clarifies employers’ obligation to track teleworkers’ compensable hours.

August 26, 2020

Telework arrangements have become ubiquitous across the U.S. However, in a telework or other remote work arrangement, the employer’s obligation to track the hours the employee works but wasn’t scheduled is often unclear. The U.S. DOL has issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-5 to respond directly to the needs created by these off-premise working arrangements that have arose due to COVID-19.

The DOL’s guidance reaffirms that employers are required to pay employees for all hours worked, including work not requested but allowed and work performed at home. If the employer knows or has reason to believe that an employee is performing work, the time must be counted as hours worked.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more Americans are teleworking and working variable schedules than ever before to balance their jobs with a myriad of family obligations, such as remote learning for their children and many others. This has presented unique challenges to employers with regard to how to track work time accurately,” said Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl Stanton. “Today’s guidance is one more tool the Wage and Hour Division is putting forward to ensure that workers are paid all the wages they have earned, and that employers have all the tools they need as they navigate what may, for many, be uncharted waters of managing remote workers.”

Read the U.S. DOL’s news release for more information.

New way to screen and understand employees’ health before every shift

August 19, 2020

COVID-19 has changed how your fleet operates. So for Zonar customers, we’ve developed a new Employee Symptom Checker on Zonar Forms™ so you can screen your drivers for symptoms. Before every shift, you can require drivers to complete this quick health questionnaire, which is timestamped and uploaded to your Zonar Ground Traffic Control online portal account for secure, digital recordkeeping.

All fleets, all industries, zero contact.

  • Understand each employee’s health and well-being before every shift.
  • Know each employee’s current temperature.
  • Reduce risk of exposure for students, riders, staff, technicians, drivers, operators and other employees.
  • Use the same touchless Zonar Forms solution you already have.
  • Securely store digital records online in your Ground Traffic Control account.

Because this is a Zonar Forms questionnaire, drivers use their own tablet to complete the form and authorized personnel go online to access the records. Completely touchless. No shared contact points.

Trusted Traveler Program Centers suspend operations

August 19, 2020

Out of an abundance of caution, and in the interest of minimizing exposure and controlling the spread COVID-19, all U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment Centers are suspending operations until at least September 8, 2020. This temporary closure includes all public access to Global Entry, , NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST enrollment locations.

Read the CBP alert for more details and locations.

CISA releases updated guidance on essential infrastructure workers

August 18, 2020

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has just released Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance Version 4.0. While earlier versions focused on helping officials and organizations identify essential work functions to allow them access to their workplaces during times of community restrictions, this updated version identifies essential workers who require specialized risk management strategies so they can work safely. Version 4.0 can also be used to begin planning and preparing for the allocation of scarce resources used to protect essential workers against COVID-19.

Read more about the differences in Version 4.0.

Read the full guidance by the CISA.

Malicious cyber actor spoofing COVID-19 loan relief webpage via phishing emails

August 17, 2020

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is currently tracking an unknown malicious cyber actor who is spoofing the Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 loan relief webpage via phishing emails. These emails include a malicious link to the spoofed SBA website that the cyber actor is using for malicious re-directs and credential stealing.

The phishing email contains:

  • Subject line: SBA Application – Review and Proceed
  • Sender: disastercustomerservice@sba[.]gov
  • Text in the email body urging the recipient to click on a hyperlink to address: hxxps://leanproconsulting[.]com.br/gov/covid19relief/sba.gov
  • The domain resolves to IP address: 162.214.104[.]246

Visit the CISA website for more details, including how to mitigate, and additional resources.

Updated CDC guidance does not imply immunity to COVID-19

August 17, 2020

Per a recent media release published by the CDC, the latest science shows that “…people can continue to test positive for up to 3 months after diagnosis and not be infectious to others.” And that contrary to some media reports, this does not imply that the person is immune to reinfection in the following three months. Per the CDC report, “The latest data simply suggests that retesting someone in the 3 months following initial infection is not necessary unless that person is exhibiting the symptoms of COVID-19 and the symptoms cannot be associated with another illness.”

Read the CDC’s full media release for more information.

DOL issues guidance to help states implement the Lost Wages Assistance program

August 14, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance to help states implement the Lost Wages Assistance program. This program provides claimants in most unemployment insurance programs additional weekly benefits of up to $400, starting with weeks of unemployment ending on or after August 1, 2020, and ending on December 27, 2020.

To qualify

  • Individuals must provide self-certification that they’re unemployed or partially unemployed because of disruptions caused by COVID-19.
  • And, the state must confirm that the individual is receiving at least $100 of underlying unemployment benefits.

Read the full press release from the U.S. DOL.

Fake text messages being sent to truckers crossing Canadian border

August 14, 2020

Truck drivers in Canada are being warned of fake text messages, which claim to be from the Canadian government and state. These text messages incorrectly state, “All travelers must self-isolate for 14 days by law.” The text messages also directs them to contact public health officials if they’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, and to click on a fake bit.ly link.

Important: Cross-border truck drivers are considered essential workers and remain exempt from the Canadian self-isolation requirement.

Learn more about these fake text messages.

SBA updates 2 Paycheck Protection Program FAQs

August 12, 2020

In consultation with the Department of the Treasury, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has updated two helpful FAQ documents relating to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These documents are updated regularly.

Download the updated FAQ on PPP loans.

Download the updated FAQ on the loan forgiveness process.

FMCSA extends its Emergency Declaration to September 14

August 12, 2020

The FMCSA’s Emergency Declaration, which was set to expire August 14, has been extended to September 14, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there still exists a national emergency that warrants the need for a continued exemption to support direct emergency assistance for some supply chains. This extension continues the exemption granted from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

What’s covered

  • livestock and livestock feed
  • medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment 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

This extension continues the relief granted in Emergency Declaration that was modified in June, plus the reinstatement of relief for emergency restocking of food, paper products and other groceries at distribution centers or stores.

Read the FMCSA’s updated Emergency Declaration for full details.

Tools for keeping the workplace safe, per the CDC

August 10, 2020

In mid-July, the CDC updated its toolkit for businesses and workplaces. The toolkit includes FAQs, guidance and planning documents, web resources, downloadable posters, fact sheets, social media collateral, and videos that businesses can use to help keep their workplaces safe and their employees healthy.

Access the CDC’s Toolkit for Businesses & Workplaces

Considerations for wearing a face mask, per the CDC

August 10, 2020

Face masks have become mandatory in locations across the country to help slow the spread of COVID-19. To be effective as barriers to prevent droplets from traveling into the air, masks need to be worn correctly. Learn who should and should not wear a face mask, and how and when to wear one correctly so that you protect yourself and others. And how to be reasonably flexible when conditions require it.

Highlights of the CDC’s recommendations

  • CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.
  • Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others (source control).

Read the CDC’s official Considerations for Wearing Masks

President Trump signed economic relief measures

August 10, 2020

Over the weekend, a series of executive orders to expand coronavirus economic relief to millions of Americans.

  • Unemployment bonus extended at a reduced level of $400 per week instead of the $600 per week federal unemployment insurance that expired at the end of July
  • Student loan payments deferred through 2020
  • Federal protections from evictions extended
  • Provides a payroll tax holiday through the end of the year

FMCSA recommends unrestricted movement amid increases quarantine restrictions

August 7, 2020

As states and localities increase quarantine restrictions on travelers, current federal guidance recommends unrestricted movement and access for critical infrastructure workers—including those in trucking. The FMCSA has issued a statement outlining considerations for states and localities implementing quarantine, movement and/or screening requirements that impact freight and passenger transportation by commercial motor vehicles. The suggestions draw on lessons learned from state, local and territorial actions to date.

Read the FMCSA’s Statement on State and Local Shelter in Place and Other Restrictions on Movement Relating to COVID-19

CDC releases COVID-19 communication plan for select non-healthcare employers

August 5, 2020

Due to the number of COVID-19 cases among certain non-healthcare critical infrastructure employees, the CDC is working with employers to ensure employees have available accurate, actionable and timely disease prevention and control information.

The CDC’s communication plan:

  • outlines actions employers in select non-healthcare critical industries can take to share key prevention messages with their employees
  • suggests key messages that employers and community leaders can include to help employees protect themselves, their families and the surrounding community
  • provides links to existing CDC communication materials which have been translated into multiple languages

Visit the CDC’s website for the communication plan.

PPP deadline is August 8—hurry if you want to apply

August 4, 2020

Instead of Congress going into recess for the month of August, House leadership has announced that the lower chamber will not adjourn until the next round of coronavirus aid has been finalized. The Senate’s adjournment date might also be delayed unless a compromise is reached in time. Unless Congress extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the program will stop approving and allocating funding this coming weekend.

The deadline to apply is Saturday, August 8, 2020. This might be the last PPP funding seen until congressional leaders and the White House agree on new terms. If you’ve considered applying or simply haven’t yet, you are strongly encouraged to review the program’s application.

Learn more and review the application on the SBA’s website.

TSA extends Renewal of the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment

August 3, 2020

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is extending the exemption from its Renewal of the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment for Certain Individuals for 90 days. This exemption enables states to extend the expiration date of hazardous materials endorsements (HMEs) that expire on or after March 1, 2020, for 180 days. If a state grants an extension, the person with an expired HME must begin the process of renewing his or her security threat assessment (STA) for the HME no later than 60 days before the end of the state-granted extension.

This extension of the previously issued exemption, published on April 8, 2020, becomes effective on August 1, 2020, and remains in effect through October 29, 2020.

Read the full entry and extension in the Federal Register.

More COVID-19 news affecting the industry