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Biden Says He Will Issue Domestic Air Travel Vaccine Requirement If His Medical Team Recommends It

AP Photo/Charles Reidel

On Tuesday, President Biden told reporters he would issue a mandate that Americans traveling domestically be vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus if his medical team recommends it. 


While out for a walk on Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, Biden said to reporters he would impose the mandate “when I get a recommendation from the medical team.” 

This comes after Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said  this week that the United States should consider a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel. 

Fauci said in an interview with MSNBC that such a mandate could increase the United States’ vaccination rates and create stronger protections for air travelers on flights. Right now, federal regulations mandate all passengers ages two and older wear a mask during air travel. 

“When you make vaccination a requirement, that’s another incentive to get more people vaccinated,” Fauci said in the interview. “If you want to do that with domestic flights, I think that’s something that seriously should be considered.” He noted that vaccination requirements are currently in place if you want to attend college or “work in certain places.”


However, two officials from the Biden administration told the Associated Press that “a vaccine mandate on planes could trigger a host of logistical and legal concerns.”

Currently, federal rules do not require domestic air travelers to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a flight. But, Hawaii requires travelers to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to avoid the state’s mandatory quarantine policy.

Foreign nationals traveling to the United States are mandated to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. United States citizens and permanent residents are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within a day of boarding if they are unvaccinated.

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