California introduced a new US Air Travel Public Safety Act, an account that would require all US domestic travelers to provide 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 prevent future outbreaks.
“We know that air travel during the 2020 holiday season contributed to the devastating rise of COVID-19 last winter. We just can’t allow it to happen again.” said the senator.
“It only makes sense that we also ensure that the millions of airline passengers crossing our country are not contributing to increased transmission, especially as children remain ineligible to be vaccinated,” she added.
The Senator is not alone in his quest. It has 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 contain the COVID-19 pandemic and a fundamental strategy to prevent the occurrence of hospitalizations and deaths.
While the White House has not taken a public position on mandatory vaccinations and testing for domestic travel, spokeswoman Jen Psaki hinted a few weeks ago that they were not entirely against the measure.
“We are always looking for what we can do to protect and save lives,” she said.
In addition, federal authorities have been actively working to request that all airline employees be fully vaccinated or face the consequences.
As a result, US flag carriers began implementing different approaches to immunize their employees.
Last Wednesday, United CEO Scott Kirby announced that 99.5% of its workforce was fully vaccinated.
Speaking about the recovery of the air travel industry, Kirby said his company is also ready to request proof of vaccination from travelers if necessary.
“They have excellent data and science, and if they tell us they want us to check them all, we’re prepared to do that too,” he said.