A mask policy would prevent confusion for truck drivers and travelers unaware of differing mask requirements as they move from state to state, NATSO said.
Since the virus is asymptomatic, it is “important that everyone wear masks,” the association said.
"In many parts of the country, we are seeing a growth in the number of cases, so we expect that more states, cities and counties will mandate masks," said Lisa Mullings, president and CEO of NATSO. "While we understand that there is disagreement about whether to mask, we are urging members to follow the advice of medical experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have a patriotic duty to guard the health of our employees and customers and believe this is an easy way to get the U.S. economy moving during this unprecedented global pandemic."
NATSO has also urged the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and other associations representing the trucking industry to implement a mask policy.
"It's time once again for our industry to lead and show our country how to get the job done. This pandemic is a crisis not of our making, but overcoming it requires each of us doing our individual part," said Chris Spear, president and CEO of the ATA. "Masking is the simplest and most effective way to defeat this virus, and ATA strongly encourages all fleets to adhere to mask requirements in private truckstops and public rest areas."
Truckstops and travel centers were deemed essential businesses by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when the pandemic hit earlier this year.
Alexandria, Va.-based NATSO represents more than 1,350 travel plazas and truckstops that are owned by more than 200 entities. NATSO represents the truckstop industry on legislative and regulatory matters; serves as the official source of information for the industry; provides education to its members; conducts an annual convention and trade show; and supports efforts to generally improve the business climate in which its members operate.