Legislators want Biden to require vaccines or negative tests on domestic flights ahead of the vacations.
Since the holiday season is just around the corner, several lawmakers have urged the federal government to require vaccine certificates or negative Covid-19 test results on all domestic flights.
Legislators said in a letter addressed to President Joe Biden the new travel restrictions would “ensure Americans can travel safely to see their loved ones during the holidays while also limiting household introduction and spread of Covid-19 from visiting family and friends.”
The Goal Is to Make Travel Safer
The request to require vaccines or negative tests on domestic flights comes less than a week after the States reopened its borders to vaccinated international travelers. According to the legislators, extending vaccine and testing requirements to domestic flights will make US nationals feel more confident to travel and revive the country’s tourism sector. Also, the lawmakers said it would improve public health by making more people get vaccinated.
The letter refers to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation that read some four in ten participants who wanted to wait and see how the vaccine worked for others before getting the jab themselves would be more likely to get vaccinated if vaccinations were mandatory on domestic flights.
Besides, lawmakers also want safety protocols on trains and other modes of public transport to be updated continuously so that the government can conclude how well restrictions work to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The letter dated Thursday but published on Friday reads, “This is a necessary and long overdue step towards ensuring all Americans feel safe and confident while traveling and reduce the chances of yet another devastating winter surge.”
Not Everyone Thinks Stricter Safety Protocols Are a Good Idea
It’s not the first time that legislators have asked for stricter safety protocols on domestic flights. In September, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whose signature is on the letter, introduced a bill to ask all US passengers to be fully inoculated, recovered, or tested negative for Covid-19 before boarding a domestic flight.
The US Travel Association that promotes travel to the States published a statement against vaccine mandates for domestic flights in the same month.
In a September 13th release, the group’s executive vice president of public affairs and policy Tori Emerson Barnes said, “The science – including studies from the Harvard School of Public Health and the US Department of Defense – overwhelmingly points to the safety of air travel as long as masks are worn.
She added, “And with the federal mask mandate for all forms of public transportation and US airports extended through January 2022, proper tools are already in place to enable safe air travel for Americans.”