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
|May 29, 2020||PHMSA||Deferral||Deferral of Late Fee Charges for Pipeline and Underground Natural Gas Storage Operator|
|May 28, 2020||Interagency Coordination||Release||Trump Administration to Distribute Over 15 Million Cloth Facial Coverings to America’s Transportation Workforce|
|May 22, 2020||FRA||Waiver||FRA provided Response to ASLRRA Emergency Waiver Extension Request|
|May 22, 2020||FRA||Waiver||FRA Issued Response to APTA’s Emergency Waiver Extension Request|
|May 20, 2020||FAA||Exemption||Exemption for Transporting Cargo on Airplane Seats|
|May 13, 2020||FAA||Guidance||FAA issues cargo guidance for safety inspectors|
|May 13, 2020||FMCSA||Emergency declaration||Extended Emergency Declaration until June 14, 2020|
- Trump Administration to Distribute Over 15 Million Cloth Facial Coverings to America’s Transportation Workforce
- Provided guidance about the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency on DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements for employers, employees, and service agents.
- 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.
- Guidance for travelers developed through whole-of-government coordination has been a remarkably effective as a ‘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 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.
- The FAA has issued information and guidance for agency safety inspectors about the carriage of cargo in the cabin of passenger-carrying planes when no passengers are on board.
- The FAA has updated SAFO 20009 (PDF), “COVID-19: Updated Interim Occupational Health and Safety Guidance for Air Carriers and Crews,” primarily to add references to the CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus webpage.
- FAA has issued additional information and examples for airport operators to use when producing NOTAMs that close runways and/or taxiways to temporarily park aircraft.
- To ensure the continuity of air ambulance operations, the FAA is granting an exemption to the timeframes for completing recurrent training and testing requirements for certain air ambulance personnel. Operators must fulfill specific requirements to exercise the relief offered in this exemption.
- The FAA has published a wide-ranging Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) that provides regulatory relief to pilots, crew members and other FAA certificate holders who have been unable to comply with certain training, recency-of-experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
- FAA announced planned operating-hour adjustments at approximately 100 control towers nationwide.
- 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.
- 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.
- The FAA is enabling drone use for COVID-19 response efforts within our existing regulations and emergency procedures. Our small unmanned aircraft rule (Part 107) and Certificate of Authorization process allow operators to transport goods and certain medical supplies–including test kits, most prescription drugs and, under certain circumstances, blood–provided the flight complies with all provisions of the rule or authorization. The FAA also issues special approvals, some in less than an hour, for flights that support emergency activities and appropriate government, health, or community initiatives.
- U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced the award of approximately $10 billion to commercial and general aviation airports from the Trump Administration's newly created Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program. The effort will provide unprecedented and immediate relief to American families, workers, and businesses.
- The FAA issued an exemption that allows U.S. airlines to carry cargo on seats in airplane cabins when no passengers are being transported. The FAA determined the exemption would reduce the chance that movement of critical cargo would be interrupted as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
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.
- Provided Guidance: Notice of Enforcement Discretion Concerning Certain Requirements for 10-Day State Notification and other Actions on Driver License Records
- Provided guidance: Waiver of Knowledge Test Training for Certain Third Party CDL Test Examiners in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency
- Provided guidance to allow Third Party CDL Skills Test examiners to temporarily administer CDL knowledge test
- Expanded the National Emergency Declaration
- 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.
- Provided Additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for State Driver Licensing Agencies and Commercial Drivers Regarding Permissible Actions During the COVID-19
- FMCSA has extended its national emergency declaration until June 14, 2020. This first-ever national hours-of-service declaration provides regulatory relief for motor carriers assisting in emergency relief efforts in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
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.
- Provided Guidance: FTA Safety Advisory 20-01: Recommended Actions to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 Among Transit Employees and Passengers
More details and resources relating to COVID-19 and the FRA can be found on the agency’s page.
- FRA provided Response to ASLRRA Emergency Waiver Extension Request
- FRA Issued Response to APTA’s Emergency Waiver Extension Request
- U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces $1 Billion for Amtrak in Response to COVID-19
- FRA Safety Advisory 2020-01: Safety Precautions Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19)
- 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.
- Provided Guidance: Mail Sent to NHTSA | COVID-19 - If you mailed something prior to Monday, March 16, 2020, we encourage you to resubmit it electronically.
- Announced: Pursuant to the emergency authority provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this notice waives and postpones certain statutory and regulatory grant requirements for the State highway safety programs.
- Announced: To facilitate social distancing due to COVID-19, NHTSA is treating electronic submission as an acceptable method for submitting confidential business information (CBI) to the agency under 49 C.F.R. Part 512.
- 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
- NHTSA Announced: Innovative Automotive Technologies to Address Unique Challenges Posed by COVID-19: NHTSA urges all stakeholders to explore the potential for using innovative automotive technologies, in particular, to address the unique challenges posed by this crisis.
- Provided answers to frequently asked questions relating to Defect Investigations, Compliance, Enforcement During the Coronavirus
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration are issuing this guidance to help State and Tribal recipients of the 911 Grant Program.
More details and resources relating to COVID-19 and the PHMSA can be found on the agency’s page.
- Deferral of Late Fee Charges for Pipeline and Underground Natural Gas Storage Operators
PHMSA provided answers to frequently asked questions regarding their Hazardous Materials Regulations and COVID-19
- Guidance for the Safe Packaging and Transportation of COVID-19 materials. PHMSA developed a quick reference page that provides guidance on how to package and transport COVID-19 materials safely.
- Issued a Notice of Enforcement Discretion related to the compliance with certain new gas pipeline safety regulations
- PHMSA informed the members of the United Nations Sub-Committee on the Transport of Dangerous Goods on actions it has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 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, Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Common Ground Alliance, 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.
- Provided Guidance: Notice Highlighting Existing Options Related to Hazardous Materials Shipping Papers and Social Distancing during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
- Issued emergency special permits to help move hazardous materials during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Issued a notice of enforcement discretion for the continued manufacturing of United Nations performance oriented packaging used in the transportation of hazardous materials which have exceeded their periodic retesting dates.
- PHMSA issued a notice of enforcement discretion for the transportation of sanitizing and disinfecting materials to be used in protecting the health and safety of employees.