House Bill Mandates Mask Use on Airlines, Transit, Amtrak

House Bill Mandates Mask Use on Airlines, Transit, Amtrak

May 15, 2020  | Jeff Davis

The $3 trillion coronavirus bill that is up for a vote in the House of Representatives this week (H.R. 6800) includes a federal mandate for the use of face masks in the aviation, rail and bus transportation sectors.

Section 190505 of the bill applies to air carriers, section 190601 applies to Amtrak, and section 200009 applies to mass transit providers.

The various mask mandates all apply for the duration of the coronavirus emergency as proclaimed by the President.

Air carriers Amtrak Transit providers
Who must wear PPE? “require each passenger and cabin crewmember to wear a mask or protective face covering while on board an aircraft of the air carrier” AND “require each flight crewmember to wear a mask or protective face covering while on board an aircraft but outside the flight deck” “require each passenger and employee of Amtrak, including engineers, conductors, and onboard service workers, to wear a mask or other protective face covering while onboard an Amtrak train” “require each passenger to wear a mask or protective face covering while on board a public transportation vehicle”
To what entities does the mandate apply? All Part 121 air carriers Amtrak All transit providers serving urbanized areas of at least 500,000 in population and which provided at least 20 million unlinked passenger trips in the most recent year for which information is available (and, in 2018, there were 51 such transit providers – Sacramento RTD was the bottom of the list, at 20,890,308 UPT).

The three provisions all require covered entities to provide masks or other protective face coverings, gloves, hand sanitizer, and wipes to all public-facing employees and to ensure that all aircraft, trains, and transit vehicles are cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized according to CDC guidelines on a regular basis (after each use for aircraft; “frequently” for Amtrak trains and transit vehicles).

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