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A United States Senator and 35 members of the House of Representatives have sent a letter to President Joe Biden, asking him to implement a mandate that all domestic airline passengers provide proof of vaccination or a negative test against COVID-19 in order to fly.
The letter, dated on Thursday and published into the record on Friday, wants requirements put into place prior to the holiday season that begins in two weeks – but carefully avoids wording whether a mandate would just be for the holidays or would extend beyond that. It does mention the potential for a winter surge of the virus.
“As the nation approaches holiday season, we ask that you put in place requirements for airline passengers to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test to board a domestic flight,” the letter stated. “We also ask that safety protocols in place for trains and other popular modes of public transportation continue to be updated to reflect the best available data to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is a necessary and long overdue step toward ensuring all Americans feel safe and confident while traveling and reduce the chances of yet another devastating winter surge.”
The partisan letter was signed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and 35 Congressmen and women. All 35 are members of the Democratic party.
With the face mask mandate already in place through at least mid-January, most airlines are against a mandatory vaccination policy for fliers.
Canada has mandated vaccines for all forms of transportation, and the U.S. has adopted a vaccine requirement for all international air travelers coming to the United States since restrictions were lifted on November 8.
“Applying similar strategies to domestic air travel would ensure Americans can travel safely to see their loved ones during the holidays while also limiting household introduction and spread of COVID-19 from visiting family and friends,” the lawmakers’ letter said. “Many Americans remain reluctant to spending extended periods of time in enclosed public spaces due to the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test for domestic flights will help alleviate these concerns for traveling.”