ALEXANDRIA, Va.—As of this week, major truck-stop operators have joined other national businesses—retailers, restaurants and airlines—in requiring customers to wear masks. The new policy aims at reducing the spread of coronavirus, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The new rules cover more than 1,500 facilities across key transportation routes where truckers buy fuel, supplies and food. The policy kicks in today for Pilot Co., which operates 780 travel centers under the Pilot Flying J and other brands. Tomorrow, it will take effect at Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores and TravelCenters of America sites. The policies exceed local and state requirements in various areas.
As NACS Daily reported in April, the demand for masks and other sanitation products has put a strain on those supplies. NATSO, a trade group for the travel plaza and truck-stop industry, has urged operators nationwide to require customers to wear face masks, saying a patchwork of varying local requirements confuses both truck drivers and travelers.
“While we understand that there is disagreement about whether to [wear a] mask, we are urging members to follow the advice of medical experts, including the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention],” said Lisa Mullings, chief executive, NATSO. “We have a patriotic duty to guard the health of our employees and customers and believe this is an easy way to get the U.S. economy moving during this unprecedented global pandemic.”
Love’s and Pilot said the new policies are intended to protect workers, customers and truck drivers from the coronavirus, and that customers can buy masks at their facilities if they don’t already have one. “For professional drivers that do not have a face covering, we offer them for purchase and are working to make them available upon request as supplies last,” a Pilot spokesperson said.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.