The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote next week on a bill that would end the requirement that most foreign air travelers need to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Majority Leader Steve Scalise said on Friday.
The Biden administration in June lifted the requirement that people arriving in the country by air must test negative for COVID-19, but has not eliminated vaccination requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Currently, adults visiting the United States, who are not citizens or permanent residents, must provide proof of vaccination before boarding their flight, with some limited exceptions.
Republican Rep. Thomas Massie introduced the measure to overturn the vaccination requirement. “The CDC’s scienceless mandate is separating too many people from their families and has been doing so for far too long. It has to end,” he said on Twitter.
The CDC states that vaccines remain the most important public health tool to combat COVID-19 and recommends that all travelers get vaccinated. The CDC had no comment Friday.
The U.S. Travel Association said Thursday it has “long supported eliminating this requirement and sees no reason to wait until the May expiration of the public health emergency — particularly when potential visitors are planning spring and summer trips.”
The group states that the United States “is the only country that continues to maintain this requirement for international visitors when there is no longer any public health justification.”
Mask requirements on planes were relaxed last year after a judge declared them illegal.
But in December, the United States imposed a mandatory COVID-19 test for most travelers from China, as COVID infections spiked there.