White House lobbies for Covid vaccine requirement for travelers

WASHINGTON D.C.: The White House has said that it opposes legislation that would end a requirement for most foreign air travelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The House of Representatives will vote on the bill next week.

In June, the Biden administration ended a rule requiring people arriving in the US by air to test negative for COVID-19, but has not lifted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination requirements.

"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 US," the White House said.

With some exceptions, adult visitors traveling to the US who are not citizens or permanent residents must show proof of vaccination before boarding their flights.

Republican Representative Thomas Massie, who introduced the measure to rescind the vaccine requirement, wrote on Twitter, "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."

The White House will end its COVID-19 public health emergency on 11th May.

"As we approach the end of the public health emergency, the administration will review all relevant policies, including this one," the White House said.

Vaccines are still the most important public health tool for fighting COVID-19, the CDC said, recommending all travelers continue to be vaccinated.