ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is extending the COVID-19 emergency declaration, which waives Part 395.3 (maximum driving time) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for carriers providing emergency relief related to the pandemic. The declaration, which was set to expire yesterday, will now be effective through May 31, 2022.
FMCSA is continuing the exemption because “although the number of COVID-19 cases began to decline in the U.S. following widespread introduction of vaccinations, persistent issues arising out of COVID-19 continue to affect the U.S. including impacts on supply chains and the need to ensure capacity to respond to variants and potential rises in infections. Therefore, a continued exemption is needed to support direct emergency assistance for some supply chains,” wrote FMCSA in a statement.
The hours-of-service waiver is applicable to drivers and carriers that transport essential services (such as medical care) or essential supplies related to COVID-19.
The waiver continues to be limited to the transportation of:
- Livestock and livestock feed
- Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
- Vaccines, constituent products and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19
- Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
- Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores
- Gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and ethyl alcohol