Press Releases

Feinstein, Beyer, Swalwell, Torres to Biden Administration: Require COVID-19 Vaccine or Negative Test for Domestic Air Travel

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Representatives Don Beyer (D-Va.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) today called on the Biden administration to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result for all domestic air travel.

“Travel at our nation’s airports has essentially returned to pre-pandemic levels but the risk from COVID-19, including from its new variant Omicron, continues to present a major public health threat,” the members wrote. “Requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test for domestic flights would improve public health and address concerns that passengers have about flying.”

Full text of the letter follows and is available here:

 

December 20, 2021

 

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky

Director

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road

Atlanta, Georgia 30329

 

The Honorable Steve Dickson

Administrator

Federal Aviation Administration

800 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20591

 

Dear Director Walensky and Administrator Dickson,

 

            As domestic travel increases this holiday season, we urge you to implement new requirements for airline passengers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to board a domestic flight. Ensuring the health and safety of air travelers and their destination communities is critical to mitigating the ongoing COVID-19 surge, especially as the virus continues to evolve.

 

            Travel at our nation’s airports has essentially returned to pre-pandemic levels but the risk from COVID-19, including from its new variant Omicron, continues to present a major public health threat. Requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test for domestic flights would improve public health and address concerns that passengers have about flying. This measure is supported by two-thirds of Americans in recent polling.

 

            International travelers arriving in the United States must already submit COVID-19-related documentation to airlines before boarding their flight, and airlines are demonstrating they have the capacity to implement these vaccine and testing requirements. For example, Delta Airlines and American Airlines have adopted their FlyReady and VeriFLY verification systems, and United Airlines has introduced similar requirements. CDC has also already published guidance on what types of COVID-19 tests and proof of COVID-19 vaccination are acceptable for this process.

 

            Thank you for your dedication to promoting science-based public health measures to keep Americans safe and healthy. As you continue to work tirelessly to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end the pandemic, we urge you to ensure vaccine protocol is in place for domestic air travel so that Americans can be confident they are safe while traveling. We appreciate your consideration of this important matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

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