Citing the struggle to control new COVID-19 infections, U.S. Representative Don Beyer has proposed new legislation to require that all commercial airline and train passengers be vaccinated for domestic travel.
Titled the “Safe Travel Act”, the proposed bill will require domestic air and Amtrak rail passengers to comply with measures already being implemented for international travelers. The bill proposes that travelers either present proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or provide a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before travel. The proposition also covers employees, contractors and subcontractors, requiring the respective parties to either show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or being able to provide weekly negative test results. Airports, airlines, Amtrak and other related companies will also need to develop a testing policy to comply with proposed requirements.
“Requiring airport and Amtrak travelers and employees to provide a proof of COVID vaccine or negative test is just common sense.
“These are easy steps we can take to make travel safer, as companies like United have already demonstrated with responsible policy changes.
“Americans want a return to normal that includes traveling for business or pleasure, and Congress can help make people comfortable traveling again by putting basic requirements in place that prevent the spread of Covid.”
The new proposition comes after the Transport Safety Administration (TSA) announced the doubling of mask fines, where first time offenders could face a penalty of $500 to $1,000, while second offenders and beyond could pay between $1,000 to $3,000. Travel mask mandates were also extended until the end of January 2022.
The proposed policy does not come as a surprise as other countries are slowly implementing similar mandates. Canada for instance also recently announced more stringent measures requiring that travelers utilizing commercial air transport services be fully vaccinated before they fly, whether it be domestic or internationally.
[Featured Photo: Marco Verch Professional Photographer/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)]