Amtrak announced Thursday that it will begin requiring all customers to wear facial coverings in stations, on trains and aboard thruway buses starting Monday, May 11.
The national railroad service says the new requirement is part of its ongoing commitment to help protect customers and front-line employees from contracting the novel coronavirus.
The facial coverings can be removed when you’re eating in designated areas, in your private rooms, or seated alone or with a travel companion in your own pair of seats, according to Amtrak.
Officials say small children who are not able to maintain a facial covering are exempt from the requirement.
Amtrak says customers must supply their own facial covering.
“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. “Amtrak continues to operate as an essential service for those who must travel during this public health crisis. Our services will be even more critical as our nation recovers.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of simple cloth facial coverings or masks to slow the spread of the virus and prevent transmission. Click here to learn more about masks from the CDC.
Amtrak says it’s also taking these additional measures to sanitize stations and trains:
· Limiting bookings: To help maintain CDC recommendations for physical distancing onboard trains, Amtrak has temporarily reduced coach and business class sales to 50% capacity.
· Going cashless: As an added measure, Amtrak is temporarily accepting only cashless payments in stations and on trains.
· Promoting physical distancing: Signage has been displayed at several of the busiest staffed stations to indicate safe distances in high customer traffic areas such as waiting rooms, in front ticket offices, at the base/top of escalators, lounge entrances, etc. In addition, clear protective barriers have been retrofitted at staffed stations where there are no current glass barriers.
· Updating food and beverage service: Amtrak is temporarily offering “flexible dining” service in the dining or lounge car on all long-distance routes (except auto train) and encouraging all sleeping car customers to select optional room service for their meals. In addition, they’re limiting seating in dining and café areas.