NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Amtrak will require all passengers to wear face coverings beginning next week.
The railroad agency says the new requirement will begin Monday. All customers in stations, trains and buses will be required to wear a covering over their nose and mouth.
The coverings are allowed to be removed when customers are eating or seated alone or with their travel companion. Small children are also exempt from the requirement.
“The safety of Amtrak’s customers and employees is our top priority and requiring a facial covering is one more way we can protect everyone,” Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn said. “Amtrak continues to operate as an essential service for those who must travel during this public health crisis. Our services will be even more critical as our nation recovers.”
Amtrak says it has already reduced bookings by 50% to promote social distancing aboard trains and buses.
Trains are also offering flexible dining services in the dining or lounge car on all long-distance routes to limit contact between individuals. Amtrak is also encouraging all sleeping car customers to select optional room service for their meals.
In addition, the railroad has temporarily suspended all cash payments aboard trains.
Amtrak notes that ridership has been down 90% since the start of the pandemic.