WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior U.S. lawmaker wants Congress to mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccines or recent negative tests for all domestic air and train travelers.
Representative Don Beyer, a Democrat, introduced legislation to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of travel for domestic airline and Amtrak rail trips. It would also require all airport or Amtrak employees to be vaccinated or be subject to weekly COVID testing.
Beyer cited United Airlines decision in August to require employees to get COVID-19 tests or face termination.
“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,” Beyer said in a statement.
Canada said in August it would require all air, train and cruise-ship travelers to be vaccinated. Other countries are requiring vaccine passports for travel and other events.
The White House and a group representing major airlines did not immediately comment.
Reuters reported in August the Biden administration was developing a plan to require nearly all foreign visitors to the United States to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of measures towards eventually lifting travel restrictions that bar much of the world from entering the United States.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Bernadette Baum)