The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Tuesday, Aug. 11 announced it has once again extended the emergency declaration enacted in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
This latest extension — the fifth — is effective at midnight Eastern time Saturday, Aug. 15, and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Sept. 14, or until the national emergency is revoked, whichever is sooner, according to a statement from FMCSA Deputy Administrator Jim Mullen.
The extension of the emergency declaration provides regulatory relief parts 390 through 399 for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to COVID-19 and is limited to transportation of:
- livestock and livestock feed
- medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis, and treatment 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
This extension once again includes deliveries of food, paper products, and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores. The FMCSA said it had reinstated this provision because of current pandemic conditions.
However, the FMCSA said “direct assistance” does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.
There have been more than 5 million cases of the COVID disease reported in the U.S. and over 162,000 deaths related to it.