California has introduced a new U.S. Air Travel Public Safety Act, a bill that would require all domestic U.S. travelers to submit proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test.
The initiative calls for the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Federal Aviation Administration to adopt national vaccination guidelines and protocols to ensure the safety of domestic air travel, and avoid future outbreaks.
“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 Senator said.
“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,” she added.
The Senador is not alone in her quest. She’s already been endorsed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Public Health Association.
“The Infectious Diseases Society of America supports Senator Feinstein’s legislation to require vaccination for domestic air travel as part of our nation’s broader COVID-19 vaccination strategy,” said Dr. Barbara D. Alexander, president of the association.
The expert argues that vaccination is a proven mechanism to stop the COVID-19 pandemic and a fundamental strategy to prevent hospitalizations and deaths from happening.
Although the White House has not taken a public stand on mandatory vaccination and testing for domestic travel, a few weeks ago spokesperson Jen Psaki let see they were not totally against the measure.
“We are always looking at more we can do to protect and save lives,” she said.
Additionally, federal officials have been actively working on requesting all airline workers to get fully vaccinated or face consequences.
As a result, U.S. flag carriers started to implement different approaches to get their employees immunized.
Last Wednesday, United’s CEO Scott Kirby announced that 99.5% of its workforce was already fully vaccinated.
Speaking about air travel industry recovery Kirby said its company was ready to also request vaccination proof from travelers if it was needed.
“They’ve got great data and science, and if they tell us that they want us to check everyone, we’re prepared to do that as well,” he said.