COVID-19 Safety Requirements in the Maritime Transportation System

USCG Navigation Circulars(NVICs) and Policy

Document Number:02-21
Type of Document:MSIB
Published Date:February 01, 2021
Effective Date:February 01, 2021
Superseded Date:March 22, 2021
Current Status:Superseded
This MSIB was superseded by MSIB 02-21-CH1 on March 22, 2021.

The President issued Executive Order (13998), Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel that requires masks be worn on all “public maritime vessels” to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued order, Requirement for Persons to Wear Masks while on Transportation Hubs, requiring all persons traveling on all commercial vessels to wear a mask. The order is inclusive of uninspected passenger vessels, cargo ships, crew boats, tow boats, etc.

This Order requires conveyance (vessel) operators to use best efforts to ensure that any person on the conveyance wears a mask when boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel.

The Coast Guard will work closely with the CDC to address the unique challenges posed by shipboard operations and living conditions. In general, mask wear will be required unless their wear would pose risks to personal/workplace safety or prevent compliance with personal protective equipment by regulation (e.g., respirator used during confined space entry examinations). Vessel owners and operators are encouraged to use CDC recommendations for ships and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) included within CDC’s Requirement for Face Masks on Public Transportation and at Transportation Hubs website.

Additional comments related to mask wear on commercial vessels should be directed to
    View this regulation in PDF format.

J. Connor Consulting, Inc. Teaming with Industry