Things have fluctuated a lot recently in terms of pandemic-era travel. Between the US lifting travel bans for vaccinated tourists in some countries and adding others to its avoid travel list, I, personally, have been wondering about domestic restrictions for American travelers. As the pandemic continues and numbers in America spike, it seems lawmakers are trying to figure out how to curb infection rates. Earlier this week, a US Senator introduced a bill that would require all travelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a negative test to take a domestic flight.
California Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein, introduced the bill called the US Air Travel Public Safety Act. The bill would push the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Federal Aviation Administration to develop “national vaccination standards” for travel. This potential legislation comes about a month after Dr. Anthony Fauci publicly endorsed the idea of a vaccine mandate for air travel.
In a statement issued on September 29, 2020, Feinstein aired her concerns around travel during the holiday season, saying, “We know that air travel during the 2020 holiday season contributed to last winter’s devastating COVID-19 surge. We simply cannot allow that to happen again.”
The California senator also added, “It only makes sense that we also ensure the millions of airline passengers that crisscross our country aren’t contributing to further transmission, especially as young children remain ineligible to be vaccinated.”
Since the deadly Delta variant has swept through the country, airlines have enforced employee vaccinations. United Airlines is set to fire hundreds of employees who refuse vaccination, while JetBlue and Alaska Airlines have given employees a vaccination deadline of December 8, 2021. The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Public Health Association are also supporting the bill.