COVID: US plans to vote to end foreign air travel vaccination mission
HO CHI MINH CITY –
The US House of Representatives plans to vote on a bill ending the requirement that most foreign air travelers be vaccinated against COVID-19, Majority Leader Steve Scalise said on Friday.
The Biden administration in June dropped the requirement that people arriving in the country by air test negative for COVID-19 but has not lifted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccination requirement.
Currently, adult visitors to the United States who are not citizens or permanent residents must present proof of vaccinations before boarding, with limited exceptions.
Republican Representative Thomas Massie introduced a measure to rescind the vaccine requirement. “CDC’s unscientific mission is separating too many people from their families, and it’s been going on for too long. It needs to stop,” he said on Twitter.
The CDC says vaccines continue to be the most important public health tool to combat COVID-19 and recommends that all travelers get vaccinated. The CDC did not immediately comment on Friday.
The US Travel Association said on Thursday that it has “long supported the removal of this requirement and has no reason to wait until the expiration of the public health emergency in May – especially when potential visitors are planning to travel in spring and summer.”
The group said the US “is the only country that still has this requirement for international travelers when there is no longer any reason to justify public health.”
The requirement for masks on planes was relaxed last year after a judge declared them illegal.
But in December, the United States imposed mandatory negative COVID-19 testing requirements for most travelers arriving from China as the number of COVID-19 infections spiked there.