COVID Rules May Tighten in Time for Holiday Travel

Senate bill would require vaccination or negative test results
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2021 5:26 PM CDT
COVID Rules May Tighten in Time for Holiday Travel
Travellers wait to approach the ticketing counter for Delta Airlines in Denver International Airport earlier this month.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Holiday travelers could face new pandemic rules this season. "We can't allow upcoming holiday air travel to contribute to another surge in COVID cases," Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein tweeted. "Today, I introduced legislation requiring passengers on domestic flights to be vaccinated, test negative or be fully recovered from a previous COVID illness." Willis Orlando of Scott's Cheap Flights doesn't think that would cause any problems, WPVI reports. "It really would just be kind of adding restrictions in the US that already exist elsewhere in the world and that have been working pretty well to contain COVID," he said.

Albert Hsieh of Foxtrot Dash, a company that focuses on the use of points, agreed that the tighter restrictions work well in other parts of the world. "I actually feel the most safe flying internationally," he said. Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he'd endorse a vaccine mandate for air travelers, per the Washington Post. The airlines have not welcomed it, with one saying a mandate would be "logistically impractical," though United has said 320 of its US employees could lose their job if they don't produce evidence that they've been vaccinated. "Airlines are doing not only what they can to protect themselves and their passengers but also their reputation," Orlando said.

More restrictions could be enacted as the holiday season, historically the busiest travel time of the year, approaches. A House bill would require airline or Amtrak passengers to show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. Before Thanksgiving, the US will impose a vaccine mandate for visitors from other countries, who will also have to show negative test results. "It only makes sense that we also ensure the millions of airline passengers that crisscross our country aren't contributing to further transmission," California's Feinstein said in a statement. (More coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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