On March 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-31-20 to ease restrictions on commercial drivers engaged in support of emergency relief efforts.  This new order was issued in conjunction with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (“FMCSA”) Emergency Declaration 2020-02 announced last week to ensure the free flow of critical supplies and equipment in interstate commerce.

Coronavirus; Transportation

Under the Executive Order, interstate motor carriers who have an active U.S. Department of Transportation number and interstate operating authority are exempt from the following requirements while conducting intrastate transportation within California in support of emergency relief efforts:

  • Interstate motor carriers are not required to hold an active Motor Carrier Property Permit pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 34620.
  • Drivers may be permitted (or even required) to exceed the hours-of-service limits specified in California Vehicle Code section 34501.2 and California Code of Regulations, Title 13, section 1212.5.

Intrastate transportation “in support of emergency relief efforts” includes, but is not limited to, transportation to meet the following needs:

  • 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.
  • Food for emergency restocking of stores.
  • Equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19.
  • Persons designated by Federal, State, or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes.
  • Persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response.

These waivers are in effect for the duration of the FMCSA’s Emergency Declaration 2020-02.

The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has worldwide ramifications affecting a multitude of industry sectors.  Sheppard Mullin is committed to providing employers with updated information regarding the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and its impact on the workplace.  Stay informed on the legal implications with Sheppard Mullin’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.