The federal hours of service waiver available to carriers and truck drivers providing direct emergency assistance for the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended through the end of February 2021 and expanded to also include the transportation of vaccines and medical supplies and equipment related to the prevention of COVID-19, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced earlier this week.
The waiver, which was previously set to expire Dec. 31, is now effective through Feb. 28, 2021. The waiver from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations now covers drivers transporting the following:
- 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
FMCSA in its waiver notes that it does not cover include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of the declaration.