Democratic Sen. Feinstein Pushes For Mandatory Vaccines For Airline Passengers

As if flying was not already a miserable enough experience, one Democratic lawmaker wants to make it even more so.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has proposed a bill implementing vaccine passports for airline travel.

Feinstein’s ‘‘U.S. Air Travel Public Safety Act’’ would require passengers to prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID–19, or under penalty of perjury, provide proof prior to boarding of a negative COVID test prior or that they have fully recovered from the virus.

Documentation of a negative test result must be within three days of traveling. For a full recovery, proof must be in the form of a signed letter from a healthcare provider, and have been issued within 90 days of the date of travel, the bill says.

In a statement, Feinstein said, “We know that air travel during the 2020 holiday season contributed to last winter’s devastating COVID-19 surge. We simply cannot allow that to happen again.”

“Ensuring that air travelers protect themselves and their destination communities from this disease is critical to prevent the next surge, particularly if we confront new, more virulent variants of COVID-19.”

“This bill complements similar travel requirements already in place for all air passengers – including Americans – who fly to the United States from foreign countries. This includes flights from foreign countries with lower COVID-19 rates than many U.S. states,” Feinstein added.

“It only makes sense that we also ensure the millions of airline passengers that crisscross our country aren’t contributing to further transmission, especially as young children remain ineligible to be vaccinated.”

Barring a Republican filibuster effort in the Senate, Feinstein’s measure has a solid chance of passing, with Democrats in control of Congress and President Joe Biden pursuing a national vaccine mandate, and having made mandatory masking on flights one of his first priorities.

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