NATSO, the association that represents truck stops and travel plazas, on Monday, March 16, issued a statement saying its members are committed to remaining open amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak to provide food, fuel, and showers to drivers. In states that have ordered the closure of sit-down restaurants, NATSO says truck stop members there are working to convert sit-down restaurants to offer take-out options.
“Truck drivers are depending on truck stops and travel centers as they deliver food and life-saving supplies. Our members are committed to doing their part during the nation’s response to this emergency,” said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. “As the nation confronts the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s travel centers and truck stops are committed to remaining open and serving America’s drivers. Fuel retailers are ‘essential’ businesses that must remain open even if other ‘nonessential’ businesses are forced to close.”
Here’s what’s happening at some truck stops and travel centers.
- Currently, all our Love’s locations are open for customers. To be able to provide the best experience for our customers, we have chosen to continue to provide food service through drive-through and carry out only.
- Private shower rooms are still available. We know that this is a valuable service to drivers and will maintain our current procedures to keep this available for our customers. We will continue to monitor the situation and make the changes necessary to help keep our customers and employees safe.
- We are asking you to use a new, disposable Love’s cup for all refills and a new, disposable Love’s cup to pour drinks into your personal mugs/cups.
- In accordance with the Illinois Gaming Board’s recent suspension of all video gaming operations in Illinois, Love’s has temporarily closed 20 game rooms until March 30, 2020.
- All of our stores are open including fuel islands, showers, and restrooms.
- We are currently not experiencing any fuel supply issues at this time.
- Our showers are open, and we are cleaning each shower after each use with degreaser, disinfectant, and floor cleaner.
- We are closing all self-serve food.
- Gaming rooms will be restricted to three participants at a time.
- We implemented a fresh cup policy for all refills on Friday, March 13. If a guest would like to use their own mug, we’re asking them to use a new cup to transfer their coffee or a fountain drink from the machine into their own mug. They will only be charged the refill price.
- Unless desired, drivers do not need to bring their own towels for a shower. We are cleaning guest towels separately from service towels after each use.
- We are currently evaluating keeping our driver lounges open. We strongly encourage drivers use social distancing while in our lounges.
- Beginning Monday, March 16, we will temporarily suspend our buffets, soup and salad bar offerings. However, our restaurants will remain open as state and local governments allow and all items on our menus will be available both in the restaurant and as to-go orders. Grab-and-go options are still available at sites.
Iowa 80 Group
- Our housekeeping teams have increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing “high-touch surfaces” in public areas including; restaurants, public restrooms, handrails, and cash register stations.
- We’ve asked employees who aren’t feeling well to stay home. We are providing extra flexibility and support, if they or their family are affected by the virus.
- We will remain open 24 hours. Truckers depend on us as they are working hard to deliver much-needed supplies across the country.
- Iowa, North Carolina and Jackson County, Missouri have mandated carry-out only for restaurants, so we are complying with that for our truckstops in those areas.
- We are also blocking off seats in our movie theater/TV rooms and implementing the CDC’s recommendation of no more than 10 people in the room at a time.