As several states neighboring Alabama issue shelter-in-place orders to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, some Alabama residents may have questions about how these directives affect their travel required for work, especially travel related to food and agriculture activities.
Under shelter-in-place orders, individuals are generally allowed to travel to conduct essential services, such as obtaining food and supplies, seeking medical attention, and continuing to travel for work related to critical infrastructure.
While each state defines what activities are allowable under the order, the US Department of Homeland Security has released an advisory providing guidance regarding what work may be considered related to critical infrastructure. Although the advisory is not a federal mandate, most states are allowing travel to continue for businesses and industries on the list, which includes health care and first responders, transportation, energy, communications, and food and agriculture, to name a few.
At this time, individuals providing these essential services either in Alabama or in surrounding states can still travel under the shelter-in-place orders. While no documentation is mandated for some states (although some may require it), certain businesses are providing essential workers with letters as proof of employment with critical infrastructure.
The complete list of essential critical infrastructure workers as described by the Department of Homeland Security can be found at https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce. It is imperative, however, that individuals routinely check each state’s orders before traveling for work given the rapid changes in the ongoing crisis.