Amtrak to require passengers to wear facial coverings

Requirement effective May 11 on board trains, in stations
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A masked passenger waits on the North Concourse of Chicago Union Station on April 20, 2020. Beginning May 11, Amtrak will require passengers to wear facial coverings on trains and in stations.
TRAINS: David Lassen

WASHINGTON — Amtrak will begin requiring passengers to wear masks or other facial coverings as of May 11. The requirement is for passengers on trains and buses as well as customers in stations.

“The safety of Amtrak’s customers and employees is our top priority and requiring a facial covering is one more way we can protect everyone,” Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn said in a release announcing the police. “Amtrak continues to operate as an essential service for those who must travel during this public health crisis.”

The covering over a customer’s nose and mouth can be removed when customers are eating in designated areas, in their private rooms in sleeping car accommodations, or when seated alone or with a travel companion in their own pair of seats. (Amtrak previously reduced ticket sales to no more than 50% of capacity to ensure social distancing.) Small children who cannot maintain a facial covering are exempt. Information on making facial coverings is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Amtrak, which began requiring customer-facing employees to wear masks on April 20, joins a large number of North American transit agencies in requiring passengers masks aboard trains. VIA Rail Canada has chosen to recommend rather than require masks on the handful of its trains that continue to operate, despite a recommendation from Transport Canada that it require facial coverings. [See “Amtrak to require masks for employees,” News Wire Digest, April 20, 2020.]

Information on this and other Amtrak efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic is available at the Amtrak website.




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