Amtrak to require face masks of all passengers as some suspended service is scheduled to resume

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Amtrak is taking its first steps toward getting back on track.

After significantly reducing service across several sectors in response to the coronavirus health crisis, the railway company announced on Friday that it would be resuming its high-speed Acela service in the Northeast Corridor. Regional service in the Northeast will also increase to 10 daily trips, up from eight.

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The company says the services were re-added to the schedule due to increased customer demand.

“We are dedicated to doing everything possible to return service safely," said Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn.

“We are dedicated to doing everything possible to return service safely," said Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn. (iStock)

“We are dedicated to doing everything possible to return service safely. We want everyone to feel comfortable as they navigate this new normal,” said Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn in an announcement shared Friday.

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Despite the news, Amtrak’s Acela and regional services won’t operate exactly as they had prior to the coronavirus health crisis. As with most other travel providers, Amtrak will require all passengers to don face coverings in stations and on trains as of May 11. Customers will also be required to maintain safe social distances in stations, ticket counters and waiting rooms. And train cabins in Coach, Business, and Acela First Class sections will only be booked to half capacity, as well.

Among other precautionary measures, Amtrak will only take cashless payments to reduce contact between employees and passengers.

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“While some services were reduced or suspended, Amtrak has and will continue to operate as an essential service as our nation recovers,” the press release reads. “In addition to the Acela and Northeast Regional, trains will be restored to service by monitoring demand, working with state partners and continuing to prioritize customer and employee safety.”

In order to provide flexibility for customers, Amtrak had previously announced it would be waiving change fees for any reservations made before May 31.

Amtrak’s latest service schedules can be found on their website.

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