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Federal Mask Mandate

 

In addition to the mandate currently being followed by VRE from the Governor’s Executive Order 63 regarding face coverings, the President issued an Executive Order, Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel, requiring masks to be worn on various modes of surface transportation, including trains. To implement the Executive Order, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a Security Directive (SD) which enforces the related Order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pursuant to the authority of the 49 U.S.C. section 114. 

TSA extended the face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks through 3/18/22. However, consistent with the latest CDC guidelines and those of other state and federal agencies, VRE has relaxed facemask requirements outdoors on station platforms.

Per the TSA and CDC orders, please note:

  • Mask means a material covering the nose and mouth of the wearer, excluding face shields.
  • Federal law requires wearing a mask while on the conveyance (VRE train) and failure to comply may result in denial of boarding or removal.
  • Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law; passengers may be subject to penalties under federal law.
  • Persons must wear masks over the mouth and nose when traveling on conveyances into and within the United States. 
  • A conveyance operator transporting persons (VRE) into and within the United States must require all person onboard to wear masks for the duration of travel.

Exemptions:

  • A child under the age of 2 years.
  • A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of the disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.). This is a narrow exception that includes a person with a disability who cannot wear a mask for reasons related to the disability. CDC will issue additional guidance regarding persons who cannot wear a mask under this exemption.
  • Operators of conveyances may impose requirements, or conditions for carriage, on persons requesting an exemption from the requirement to wear a mask, including medical consultation by a third party, medical documentation by a licensed medical provider, and/or other information as determined by the operator, as well as require evidence that the person does not have COVID-19 such as a negative result from a SARS-CoV-2 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19.
  • Operators may further require that persons seeking exemption from the requirement to wear a mask request an accommodation in advance.

 

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