US should require COVID-19 vaccine or negative test for domestic air travelers, lawmakers say – Community News

US should require COVID-19 vaccine or negative test for domestic air travelers, lawmakers say

An American flag is reflected on the floor as passengers make their way through Reagan National Airport in Washington, US, July 1, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo/File Photo

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (Reuters) – Three dozen Democratic lawmakers on Friday urged President Joe Biden to require passengers on domestic airlines to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or show a negative test result.

“This is a necessary and long-awaited step to ensure all Americans feel safe and confident while traveling and to reduce the chances of another devastating winter surge,” said the letter from members of Congress led by Representatives Don Beyer. and Ritchie Torres and Senator Dianne Feinstein. .

On Monday, the United States imposed new requirements on nearly all foreigners flying to the United States to show a vaccination certificate and a negative COVID-19 test. The Biden administration also lifted travel restrictions that banned most foreigners from the United States who had recently been to China, Brazil, South Africa, Iran and much of Europe.

Asked why the government hasn’t imposed requirements on domestic air travel, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday, “Everything is on the table. We just don’t have an announcement to take an example of this.”

The letter, signed by senior Democrats, including representatives Jerrold Nadler, Adam Schiff, David Cicilline, Barbara Lee and Eleanor Holmes Norton, praised the government’s approval of international air vaccine requirements.

“Applying similar strategies to domestic air travel would ensure that Americans can travel safely to see their loved ones over the holidays, while also limiting the household introduction and spread of COVID-19 through visiting family and friends.” said the letter.

Last week, the Biden administration said it would not enforce a deadline for federal contractors, including major U.S. airlines, to ensure their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 until Jan. 4.

Both American Airlines (AAL.O) and Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) said they would extend employee deadlines until then.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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