Updated Mask Mandate in Order effective immediately
Since last April, in response to COVID-19, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) has been requiring passengers over two years of age to wear face coverings when riding on buses or while at its facilities. Recently, President Biden signed Executive Order 13998 and as a result the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a public health order requirement for face masks to be worn by all travelers while on public transportation (which includes all passengers and all personnel operating conveyances).
According to the order, people must wear appropriate masks that completely cover both their mouths and noses while awaiting, boarding, disembarking, or traveling on airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares as they are traveling into, within, or out of the United States and U.S. territories. People must also wear masks while at transportation hubs (e.g., airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations, seaports) and other locations where people board public transportation in the United States and U.S. territories.
Under this order, effective 11:59 pm on February 1st, 2021 RFTA must use best efforts to ensure that all persons wear a mask when boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel on RFTA vehicles, as well as at all RFTA and Ride Glenwood bus stops, BRT stops, BRT stations, or bus terminals.
Under this order, actions that RFTA must take include:
- boarding only people who wear masks;
- instructing people that wearing a mask onboard or at bus stops and stations is a requirement of federal law and that not complying with the requirement is a violation of federal law and may subject them to penalties under federal law;
- monitoring for any person who is not wearing a mask and seeking compliance from such a person;
- at the earliest safe opportunity, disembarking any person who refuses to comply; and
- notifying people of the requirement to make sure they aware of and comply with the requirement to wear a mask.
The following are attributes of masks needed to fulfill the requirements of the Order. CDC will update this guidance as needed.
- A properly worn mask completely covers the nose and mouth.
- Cloth masks should be made with two or more layers of a breathable fabric that is tightly woven (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source).
- Mask should be secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head. If gaiters are worn, they should have two layers of fabric or be folded to make two layers.
- Mask should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
- Mask should be a solid piece of material without slits, exhalation valves, or punctures.
The following attributes are additionally acceptable as long as masks meet the requirements above.
- Masks can be either manufactured or homemade.
- Masks can be reusable or disposable.
- Masks can have inner filter pockets.
- Clear masks or cloth masks with a clear plastic panel may be used to facilitate communication with people who are hearing impaired or others who need to see a speaker’s mouth to understand speech.
- Medical masks and N-95 respirators fulfill the requirements of the Order.
The following DO NOT fulfill the requirements of the Order.
- Masks worn in a way that does not cover both the mouth and nose
- Face shields or goggles (face shields or goggles may be worn to supplement a mask that meets above required attributes)
- Scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, or bandanas
- Shirt or sweater collars (e.g., turtleneck collars) pulled up over the mouth and nose.
- Masks made from loosely woven fabric or that are knitted, i.e., fabrics that let light pass through
- Masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as vinyl, plastic or leather)
- Masks containing slits, exhalation valves, or punctures
- Masks that do not fit properly (large gaps, too loose or too tight)
RFTA greatly appreciates the cooperation of its passengers in complying with the Presidential Order. Additional guidance on the use of masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 is available on CDC’s website.