Federal and State health orders require all employees and riders to wear a protective face covering at stops, stations and on any Port Authority vehicle to help protect against the spread of germs.
Your face covering must cover both your mouth and your nose.
The latest scientific advice says that face coverings can help reduce the chance of infecting others.
Face coverings can be a simple cloth that covers the nose and mouth secured to the head with ties, straps or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face. Face coverings can be made of a variety of synthetic or natural fabrics, including cotton, silk or linen. A face covering can include a plastic face shield that covers the nose and mouth. Face coverings can be factory-made, sewn by hand, or be improved from household items, including but not limited to scarves, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts or towels.
Who needs to wear a face covering
A small number of customers are not required by law to wear face coverings. People who do not need to wear a covering are listed below.
Face covering exceptions
The following are exceptions to the face covering requirement:
- Individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, including those with respiratory issues that impede breathing, mental health condition, or disability;
- Individuals for whom wearing a mask while working would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidlines;
- Individuals who would be unable to remove a mask without assistance;
- Individuals who are under two years of age;
- Individuals who are communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
Individuals are not required to show documentation that an exception applies.
Port Authority employees
Port Authority employees are required to wear a face covering while inside any and all Port Authority facilities or operating locations, when on any Port Authority job site outdoors and/or while operating a Port Authority transit vehicle in revenue service.
The only exceptions to this requirement are:
- When the employee is on a lunch or other break and using that time to eat or drink in a socially-distanced manner;
- The employee is working outdoors and can consistently maintain a distance of six feet from others, unless they are working at an active stop where customers are present;
- The employee's vision is impeded by wearing a face covering;
- The employee is operating equipment, a revenue or non-revenue service vehicle or completing an assigned job task where wearing a face covering would cause an unsafe condition;
- The employee is communicating with a coworker or customer who is hearing-impaired or has another disability where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communications. Social distancing should be maintained to the extent feasible in these situations;
- The employee has a medical condition, including an employee with respiratory issues that impede breathing, mental health condition or disability that prevents the employee from wearing a face covering.
An employee who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability must submit documentation from a certified medical provider to Port Authority’s Medical Office stating the medical condition or disability that prevents the employee from wearing a face covering and whether the medical condition or disability is for a limited time period or permanent in duration.
(July 1, 2020) - Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Requiring Universal Face Coverings View
(January 29, 2021) - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Requirement for Persons to Wear Masks While on Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs View