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Do I need to wear a face mask on Amtrak trains?

Passenger and conductor wearing a face masks during a ticket lift.
Amtrak conductor “lifting” an eTicket. (Photo BY: James Taylor and courteous from Amtrak)

YES! You must wear a face mask on all Amtrak trains, connecting services, and stations regardless of state and local law.

If you choose not to wear one, you could get removed from the train, with your reservations canceled and banned from future Amtrak travel. The travel ban could extend to other modes of transportation as well.

Not just Amtrak requires passengers to wear a face mask

Currently, if you ride any public transportation, including flying, buses, or rail, you’ll need a face mask.

A federal mandate set the rule until January 18. 2022. At this point, it applies to both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people.

If you do not want to wear a mask while traveling, you may look at road trips or wait until the mandates lift. If you refuse to wear a mask while onboard any transportation, you could be removed and possibly banned from future travel.

Amtrak Conductor
Amtrak Conductor wearing a face mask. Photo Courtesy of Amtrak

What is Amtrak’s rule for face masks?

According to Amtrak’s website, here is their policy:

Federal law and Amtrak policy require all customers and employees to wear a mask or covering that covers the entire mouth and nose, fits snugly against the side of the face, and secures under the chin at all times while on board trains and in stations, regardless of vaccination status or state or local laws.

My niece is wearing her mask while in the Omaha Amtrak Station; her support alligator is also in the photo.

What isn’t considers a mask?

Neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, face shields, and masks containing valves, mesh material, or holes of any kind do not qualify as acceptable face coverings.

When you do not need to wear a mask on Amtrak:

You can remove face masks briefly while actively eating, drinking, or taking medication.

Children under two years old are not required to wear a face covering.

The rule is you should always wear your mask when onboard Amtrak, but often if you are in their sleeping accommodation with your door closed, you should be able to take it off. This policy could change at any point.

You do agree to wear a face mask when you book

If you book an adventure using the Amtrak website or app, you need to check a box stating you agree to wear a mask while on the trains and in the stations to finish booking. Even booking over the phone and in person, you will still need to agree to those conditions.

Face mask wrap-up

Whether you like or despise face masks, they are the rule right now. And you agree to wear one when you book your tickets. You don’t want to lose your privilege to travel.

If you have an adventure booked and would rather not wear a mask, Amtrak is waiving all change fees for reservations made by September 6, 2021, so you can move your trip. Some restrictions may apply.

The mask rule can get extended or shortened depending on the vaccine rate in the United States.

Fun Shopping Idea!

Mack and I
Mackenzie is enjoying her last train ride of the day, this time on Metra. Amtrak branded masks are available from the Amtrak Store.

If you want to get a new mask that is easy to breathe in and show your love of Amtrak, check out these official Amtrak branded face masks.

It is not an affiliate link, but I wanted to share because these masks are fun and practical.

Safe Travels!



Kev has traveled over 125,000 miles on over 660 trains all around the United States aboard Amtrak. When he is not on the move, Kev enjoys making music as an organist.