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:
- President Biden’s Executive Order (13998) of January 21, 2021 titled: Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel
- 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 email@example.com
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.