Coronavirus Resources at the Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation plays an active part in the United States Government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). As a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, DOT helps support the Administration’s efforts to contain and mitigate the spread of the virus, and ensure continuation of critical infrastructure support and relief for the American people.
Below are additional resources on how the Department is responding to COVID-19. The safety of our transportation networks is vital to maintaining economic durability and the free flow of essential supplies, food, fuel, and medical equipment. Response measures implemented by the Department to date have included stakeholder outreach and guidance, expanded federal assistance, and regulatory relief. This page will be updated on a regular basis as new information and resources become available.
Recent Updates and Resources
|April 8, 2020||FAA||Exemption||Exemption to Keep Flight Attendants Safe|
|April 7, 2020||PHMSA||Guidance||Notice of Enforcement Discretion Regarding Cylinders|
|April 6, 2020||FTA||Guidance||Updated FAQs and CARES Act Information|
|April 4, 2020||FAA||FAQ||CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions|
- Secretary Elaine Chao participated in a conference call where she delivered remarks to over 1700 FTA stakeholders from across the public transit industry as well as state and local government.
- Secretary Elaine Chao participated in a conference call where she delivered remarks to over 400 FMCSA stakeholders from across the trucking industry as well as state and local government.
- Travel restrictions developed through whole-of-government coordination have been a remarkably effective ‘first layer’ of health screening of overseas travelers before they return home. These travel requirements delayed the arrival of the virus to the United States, giving the nation precious time to prepare further measures, and plan for mitigation. Read more about the travel precautions upon arrival to the United States on the CDC website.
- DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC) provided clarity to DOT-regulated employers, employees, and service agents on conducting DOT drug-and-alcohol testing given concerns about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- OST Office of Civil Rights Provided guidance: DBE and ACDBE Certification Procedures During COVID-19 Pandemic
- Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released version 2.0 of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance. CISA’s guidance helps identify workers that contribute to resiliency of our Nation’s critical infrastructure.
- Issued enforcement notice clarifying air carrier refunds.
- DOT issued a show cause order proposing parameters for initially implementing the authority granted to the Secretary of Transportation by Sections 4005 and 4114 of the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act). The order proposes that air carriers receiving financial assistance under the CARES Act maintain minimum air services on a nationwide basis, with some exceptions.
- U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao led a live briefing with more than 175 representatives from communities participating in the Essential Air Service (EAS) program and the air carriers providing EAS to share the agency’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it relates to the continued administration of the EAS program.
More details and resources relating to COVID-19 and the FAA can be found on the agency’s page.
- FAA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) jointly issued COVID-19: Interim Health Guidance for Air Carriers and Crews for air carriers and crews to protect crewmembers from exposure and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard aircraft or through air travel.
- Provided guidance to keep the traveling public informed of the continued risk of international travel.
- FAA has and will continue to coordinate daily with aviation stakeholders, foreign counterparts and other federal agencies to manage the risk from overseas travelers to the United States.
- Provided Guidance and information on facilities affected by the outbreak of COVID-19
- Provided Guidance in regards to minimum slot-use requirements at U.S. airports to help carriers that cancel flights do to the outbreak of COVID-19
- Issued CertAlert #20-02 Temporary Parking of Overflow Aircraft (PDF),
- Announced that airport certification safety inspections will continue within required timeframes during the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be no impact to safety. The inspections will be conducted using social-distancing measures to protect both FAA and airport personnel.
- Amended cockpit oxygen-mask regulation to reduce the potential for pilots to be exposed to any pathogens that may be on the masks.
- Issued enforcement notice clarifying air carrier refunds
- The FAA issued the following guidance documents: Information for Airport Sponsors and CARES Act Program FAQs
- Issued an exemption to help protect flight attendants from contracting COVID-19.
More details and resources relating to COVID-19 and the FHWA can be found on the agency’s page.
- In coordination with FHWA, Congress included a legislative clarification regarding Special Permits During Periods of National Emergency, 23 USC 127, in the CARES Act for FY2020. This provision will help ensure the continued free flow of critical relief supplies and other essential goods when responding to the recovery efforts during emergencies like the current pandemic. It provides important clarification regarding States’ authority to issue permits for overweight vehicles and loads on the Interstate when the President declares an emergency or major disaster under the Stafford Act.
- FHWA continues to work closely with the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and state transportation partners around the country to facilitate the safe, efficient, and seamless transport of critical supplies across the Nation. This includes support for maintaining the operation of rest areas: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/media/aashto.cfm
- FHWA issued a Notice of Enforcement Discretion allowing for States to permit the use of food trucks in rest areas to serve commercial truck drivers.
More details and resources relating to COVID-19 and the FMCSA can be found on the agency’s page.
- Issued an expanded national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide COVID-19 outbreak. Read the Expanded Emergency Declaration Under 49 CFR § 390.23 No. 2020-002.
- Provided FAQs for the trucking community regarding emergency declaration
- Acting Administrator Jim Mullen conducted outreach to the commercial motor vehicle industry, including: the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators regarding hours-of-service relief; the National Association of Truck Stop Operators regarding operational issues and relief; the National Governors Association concerning Commercial Drivers License licensing challenges.
- Provided guidance on Disruptions to Drug and Alcohol testing due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Provided additional FAQs related to FMCSA Emergency Declaration
- FMCSA issued a three month waiver in response to the COVID-19 Emergency - for States and Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) holders operating commercial motor vehicles
- Provided additional guidance for what drivers and carriers should know regarding local shelter in place and other restrictions on movement relating to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Provided additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) relating to the MCSAP Grant Program in response to the expanded emergency declaration.
- Issued a three-month waiver in response to the COVID-19 emergency for states and Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) holders operating commercial motor vehicles.
More details and resources relating to COVID-19 and the FTA can be found on the agency’s page.
- Announced expanded eligibility of federal assistance under FTA’s Emergency Relief Program to help transit agencies respond to COVID-19.
- Provided Information for grantees regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Announced allocated funds to support public transportation systems as part of the CARES Act.
More details and resources relating to COVID-19 and the FRA can be found on the agency’s page.
- FRA Administrator Ronald Batory and others, began daily calls with industry associations and Class I railroads to assess any negative effects on staffing or operations due to the pandemic. On Saturday, March 21, FRA received a joint petition from the American Association of Railroads (AAR), the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) to the ERD, requesting temporary waivers of numerous Federal rail safety regulations.
- Provided regulatory relief and permitted the industry to operate for sixty days under these exemptions with conditions.
- Determined that the imminent threat and exposure to COVID-19 poses a risk of serious illness that constitutes an "emergency situation" as related to railroad operations, allowing railroads to submit emergency petition waivers of specific regulations during an emergency situation or event.
More details and resources relating to COVID-19 and the MARAD can be found on the agency’s page.
- Administrator Mark H. Buzby held a teleconference with over 150 maritime industry and government agency representatives focused on the continued readiness and resilience of the U.S. maritime critical infrastructure to meet the Nation’s sealift missions for economic and national security throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Provided guidance: Maritime Security Communications with Industry (MSCI) 2020-006-Global-Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
More details and resources relating to COVID-19 and the NHTSA can be found on the agency’s page.
- NHTSA’s Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has established weekly conference calls for nationwide EMS stakeholder organizations to provide informational updates and identify issues from the EMS community.
- Provided Guidance: EMS COVID-19 Resources
- Provided Guidance: Impacts of COVID-19 on NHTSA’s Highway Safety Grant Program
More details and resources relating to COVID-19 and the PHMSA can be found on the agency’s page.
- PHMSA has held stakeholder outreach calls with the Interested Parties for Hazardous Materials Transportation, the American Gas Association, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of Oil Pipelines, the American Public Gas Association, the Distilled Spirits Council, and the American Craft Spirits Association. PHMSA will continue to update these stakeholders as this situation progresses.
- Provided guidance to state pipeline safety partners on ways to continue to effectively execute shared pipeline safety mission. The guidance also explains actions PHMSA will take in its efforts to continue to support the activities of state pipeline safety programs during this time.
- Provided Guidance: Stay of Enforcement or Pipeline Operators Due to COVID-19 Outbreak
- Provided Guidance: PHMSA Enforcement Policy Notice Regarding Hazardous Materials Training
- PHMSA issued a temporary relief notice for companies shipping hand sanitizers used for sanitation purposes.
- Provided Guidance for those experiencing difficulty in obtaining cylinders due to the increased demand for these gases or a disruption in the normal business model for cylinder exchanges.