As the United States continues to struggle with a high number of Covid-19 cases, proposed legislation has been put forward that would require all airline and train passengers in the U.S. to provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test to travel.
New Legislation Proposes Vaccine or Testing Mandate For Domestic Travel
While the U.S. government has extended the mask mandate until 2022, with fines now doubled, there is currently no testing or vaccination requirements for domestic air or train travel.
However, this could change with the proposed legislation, called the Safe Travel Act. It would require all passengers, employees, contractors, and subcontractors of Amtrak and commercial airlines to show that they have either been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or tested negative for the virus within 72 hours of travel.
Don Beyer, a United States Representative who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, said on Thursday that “requiring airport and Amtrak travelers and employees to provide a proof of COVID vaccine or negative test is just common sense.”
“These are easy steps we can take to make travel safer, as companies like United have already demonstrated with responsible policy changes,” he added, referring to the airline’s requirement for all U.S. employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Beyer argued that “Americans want a return to normal that includes traveling for business or pleasure, and Congress can help make people comfortable traveling again by putting basic requirements in place that prevent the spread of Covid.”
Despite leading the way with vaccinations at the beginning of the year, the U.S. is now falling to one of the lowest vaccination rates of G7 countries, with just over 54% of the population fully vaccinated. The vaccination curve has leveled dramatically since an initial surge in the first half of this year.
A new map by the CDC depicting the risk of Covid-19 in countries across the globe shows the US is one of the riskiest places to visit amid the pandemic. It has a Level 4 “very high” designation as the Delta variant continues to sweep through the country.
Domestic travel is no doubt having an impact on the number of Covid-19 cases in the country. The number of travelers almost reached 2019 levels over labor day weekend despite the CDC asking unvaccinated travelers to stay home.
Fauci Says He Supports Vaccine Requirements For Air Travel
Anthony Fauci said in an interview that he would support vaccine requirements for air travel.
“I would support that, if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people that you should be vaccinated,” Fauci said. He also doubled down on his support for student vaccine mandates, arguing that such an inoculation policy exists for other diseases.
The requirement to be vaccinated for air travel is growing in popularity around the world. Canada has said that it will make proof of vaccination mandatory for domestic flights, while Australian airline Qantas said it will ban unvaccinated travelers from international flights.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories