The President has declared a nationwide emergency and provides an exemption to parts 390-399 of the FMCSR to allow for immediate transportation of essential supplies, equipment and people… for “motor carriers and drivers engaged in the transport of essential supplies, equipment, and persons.”
1. Medical Supplies and Equipment (testing, diagnostic, and treatment of COVID-19)
2. Supplies and Equipment for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of transmission (masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectants)
3. Food, paper products, and other groceries
4. Immediate precursor raw materials (paper, plastic, and alcohol – required and used for producing items in 1, 2, and 3)
6. Equipment, Supplies, and People to establish temporary housing, quarantine and isolation facilities
7. People designated by the FED, State, or local authorities for medial, isolation or quarantine purposes
8. People necessary to provide other EMS (to keep the population safe) –
****Direct assistance does not include routine commercial drivers, including mixed loads just made to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration ****
Parts 390-399 must be followed when operating in non-direct assistance circumstances. The only exception is when returning an empty direct assistance run. The driver may return empty without complying with parts 390-399.
If a driver informs the motor carrier that they need immediate rest – the driver may be permitted at least 10 consecutive hours off duty before being required to return to the terminal or normal reporting location. Once a drive has returned, they must be relieved of all duties and responsibilities and receive a minimum of 10 hours off duty in transporting property and 8 hours if transporting passengers.
Carriers with drivers subject to out-of-service orders are not eligible for the relief granted.
This emergency declaration is in effect immediately and will last until the termination of the emergency or April 12, 2020 (whichever occurs sooner).
You can find more information about 390-399 about the FMCSA here – https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/b/5/3