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Amtrak will require passengers to wear face coverings starting next week

An Amtrak logo is seen on a train at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.
An Amtrak logo is seen on a train at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.Matt Rourke

Passengers will have to wear face coverings inside of all Amtrak trains, buses, and stations starting Monday to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Amtrak said in a statement.

Face coverings will have to be worn over the nose and mouth at all times, except when passengers are seated alone or only with a person they are traveling with, eating in designated areas, or are in their private rooms, officials said.

Small children are exempt from the new rule, officials said, and all passengers must bring their own face coverings.

“The safety of Amtrak’s customers and employees is our top priority and requiring a facial covering is one more way we can protect everyone,” Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn said in the statement.

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Amtrak has extensively sanitized its stations, trains, and buses since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, officials said.

The company said it has limited sales of coach and business class seats to 50 percent so passengers can practice social distancing, and cash payments are no longer accepted.

Passengers in sleeping cars have been encouraged to use room service for their meals as limited seating is available in dining cars and café areas, officials said.

Signs that indicate safe social distances have also been placed in waiting rooms, lounges, in front of ticket offices, and other busy areas, officials said.

“Amtrak continues to operate as an essential service for those who must travel during this public health crisis," Flynn said. "Our services will be even more critical as our nation recovers.”

Go to Amtrak.com for more information on the safety measures Amtrak has put in place during the pandemic.

Caroline Enos can be reached at caroline.enos@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineEnos.