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Legislators Call for Mandatory Vaccines for Plane Travelers

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Could the day come where people traveling on airplanes must be vaccinated or be denied boarding? It is possible after a U.S. Senator and three members of Congress published a letter urging the Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Aviation Administration to make vaccines mandatory for domestic travel or show proof of a recent COVID test with a negative result.

The letter was authored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Representatives Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), and Donald Beyer (D-VA) and published on Twitter. They specifically called out the Chiefs of the CDC and FAA in their message that highlights the fact that airline travel has resumed and even exceeded pre-pandemic passenger counts. The legislators are concerned that the new omicron variant poses a significant health to those traveling by air.

As of today, no airline has implemented a vaccine requirement or even proof of a negative test to board a plane for domestic travel. However, such requirements are in place for some instances of international travel and the letter highlights this by mentioning the steps that several airlines have taken to facilitate this process with programs like FlyReady or VerifFly.

Face masks continue to be required of all travelers on all airlines and continue to be a source of frustration for many travelers. It has resulted in incidents of violence now known as “in-flight air rage incidents”.

The letter was met plenty of opposition for such a mandate. Yet, there were plenty of other legislators who expressed opinions that are both for and against this mandate. While it appears the majority of those stating their opinion are clearly opposed to such a mandate, no one knows for sure what the future holds with respect to forcing people to vaccinate.