On Friday, June 12, the Federal government announced nearly 100 million cloth facial coverings will be sent to the aviation, transit, and passenger rail transportation sectors for passenger use. Approximately 86.8 million coverings will be distributed to airports, and 9.6 million coverings will be distributed to 458 transit agencies and Amtrak for passenger use.
“This Administration is committed to protecting our people and reopening the economy; distributing these facial coverings will help boost public confidence as we begin to resume our normal lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), alongside the U.S. the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, have been working with states, industries, and stakeholders to ensure that the traveling public has access to cloth facial coverings. The cloth facial coverings secured by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be sent to airports, transit agencies, and Amtrak over the coming weeks through the U.S. Postal Service.
The allotment of nearly 100 million cloth facial coverings announced today for passenger use is in addition to the over 15 million cloth facial coverings previously announced for critical infrastructure workers in the transportation sector.
Passengers are still responsible for having their own facial covering per existing guidance from airlines, airports, transit agencies, and passenger rail authorities. The cloth facial coverings announced today are intended to be supplemental. Availability at these locations is not guaranteed.
In response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, DOT has focused on keeping transportation systems safe and operational so America’s economy can come back strong. Response measures have included stakeholder outreach and guidance, expanded federal financial assistance, and regulatory relief.