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

Update (4/18/2022)

While Amtrak passengers and employees are no longer required to wear masks while on board trains or in stations, masks are welcome and remain an important preventive measure against COVID-19. Anyone needing or choosing to wear one is encouraged to do so.

Masks are encouraged but not mandatory on trains or in stations. Some stations may still require masks based on local guidelines.

Not just Amtrak requires passengers to wear a face mask

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

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

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.

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 masks or facial coverings while on a train or platform.

What you wear needs to cover the entire mouth and nose, fit snugly against the side of the face, and secure under the chin while onboard trains and in stations, regardless of vaccination status or state or local laws.

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.

What isn’t considered a mask?

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

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.

Other forms of transportation may have different rules on what is considered a face mask.

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 you should often be able to take it off if you are in their sleeping accommodation with your door closed. 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 must check a box stating you agree to wear a mask while on the trains and in the stations to finish booking.

You will still need to agree to those conditions, even booking over the phone and in person.

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.

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 have an adventure booked and would rather not wear a mask, Amtrak is waiving all change fees for reservations until April 30, 2022, 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!

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 it because these masks are fun and practical.

Safe Travels!


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Kev has been traveling with Amtrak since 2012, celebrating his tenth year this year. Over those years, he has been on over 700 trains covering over 200,000 miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by assisting them to get started. Kev enjoys making music as an organist.