The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin titled: COVID-19 Safety Requirements in the Maritime Transportation System
This order references:
  1. President Biden’s Executive Order (13998) of January 21, 2021 titled: Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel
  2. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) Order titled: Requirement For Persons To Wear Masks While on Conveyances And At Transportation Hubs
  • All persons must wear masks when boarding, disembarking and for the duration of any travel on all vessels entering, departing, and transiting within the U.S.
  • All persons must wear masks entering and while on premises of a transportation hub.
Per the MSIB:
  • Under Title 42 of the United States Code, the Coast Guard is charged with enforcing CDC quarantine orders.
  • Owners, operators, and crew of vessels that fail to implement the mask wearing order above may be subject to civil or criminal penalties from the CDC.
  • Furthermore, the Coast Guard finds that failure to wear a mask creates an undue safety risk by increasing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between passengers, the crew of the vessel, and port operators.
  • COVID-19 is known to cause severe illness and death which impacts the safe operations of ships and port facilities.
  • The Coast Guard has broad authority to control the movement and operations of a vessel based on a hazardous condition found on that vessel (see 33 CFR § 160.111).
    • Vessels that have not implemented the mask requirement may be issued a Captain of the Port (COTP) order directing the vessel’s movement and operations.
    • Repeated failure to impose the mask mandate could result in civil penalties and/or criminal action.
    • Persons that wish to report vessels not operating in accordance with the Executive Order or CDC Order may email the Coast Guard at

LAMA has confirmed with the USCG COTP that the mask-wearing requirement applies to all marine industry personnel (boarding agents, vessel agents, longshoremen, vendors, pilots, etc.) who board any vessel for any reason.