Democrats ask Biden to mandate COVID-19 vaccine, negative test to board planes

Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia, along with 36 other congressional Democrats, penned a letter to President Joe Biden, on Thursday, in favor of a vaccine requirement or negative test ahead of the holiday travel season.

The letter, led by the congressman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Ritchie Torres, asked the administration to implement COVID-19 rules after seeing “the success of vaccine requirements in the private sector” in the passing weeks.

They also asked that safety protocols for other types of domestic public transportation are also updated to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

“Many Americans remain reluctant to spending extended periods of time in enclosed public spaces due to the risk of COVID-19 exposure,” the letter said. “Requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test for domestic flights will help alleviate these concerns for traveling.”

The CDC already recommends delaying travel until fully vaccinated, mask wearing and testing before and after travel. However, there are no current vaccine requirements to engage in air travel.

Officials have asked that those who have been exposed to the virus, are currently sick or test positive for COVID-19 to stay at home and avoid trips.

There is no vaccination requirement for international travelers leaving the United States and those returning must get a negative COVID-19 test, with the timing depending on vaccination status. International travelers visiting the United States must be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test.

Congressional republicans recently sent a letter to the FAA and TSA urging the administrations to prepare as they are concerned about long lines and reduced staffing at airports this holiday season following pending vaccine mandates for employees.

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Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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