The US To Vote On Bill Ending COVID Vaccine Mandate For Foreign Travellers

The US To Vote On Bill Ending COVID Vaccine Mandate For Foreign Travellers

The United States House of Representatives announced plans to vote on a bill that would end COVID-19 vaccine mandates for most foreign air travellers.

Last June 2022, the US dropped its requirement that foreign nationals arriving in the country by air must test negative for COVID-19 but has not lifted vaccination requirements.

Currently, foreign visitors to the United States who are not citizens or permanent residents must show proof of vaccination before boarding their flight, with some limited exceptions.

Republican Representative Thomas Massie introduced the measure to rescind the vaccine requirement. “The CDC's unscientific mandate is separating too many people from their families and has been doing so for far too long. It needs to end,” he said on Twitter.

The House of Representatives is set to vote on the bill on Wednesday, 08 February 2023.

Calls To End Outdated Vaccine Mandate

The argument for a vaccine mandate for foreign travellers into the US may have made sense during an earlier stage of the pandemic. Now, it makes little sense in a world where COVID has evolved to be less of a serious global health threat and where other similar policies have been lifted.

The US Travel Association is urging the current US administration to expedite the end of the Covid-19 vaccination requirement for international visitors to the U.S.

We need to eliminate the vaccine requirement,”

“This may have been necessary policy during the pandemic. It is not necessary policy today. In fact, the U.S. is the only country in the world that has a vaccine requirement for international visitors.”

US Travel CEO Geoff Freeman During A Press Conference

According to US Travel Association, abolishing the vaccine requirement was among three key policy priorities that would enable stronger travel growth. The other two were decreasing visa wait times and reviving inbound travel from China

White House Against Lifting Vaccine Mandate for Foreign Travellers

The White House has stated that it opposes legislation before Congress that would end a requirement that most foreign air travellers be vaccinated against Covid-19.

“This policy has allowed loved ones across the globe to reunite while reducing the spread of Covid-19 and the burdens it places on the health care system in the United States,”

White House Statement

As part of the statement issued, the White House promised that the administration would “review all relevant policies, including this one” when the current public health emergency declaration expires on 11 May 2023. 

“Just as the establishment of this public health policy was guided by science, any termination or modification of this policy should be as well,”

“A vote for this bill undercuts that critical principle.”

White House Statement

The CDC says vaccines continue to be the most important public health tool for fighting Covid-19 and recommends all travelers be vaccinated.

Do you agree to end the vaccine mandate for foreign travellers to the US? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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