Psaki Says Biden Admin Has Not Ruled Out COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Domestic Travel


President Joe Biden’s administration has not ruled out COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements for domestic travel, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says.

During a press briefing on Thursday, a reporter asked, “Why not require a vaccine or a test to fly domestically? Why not go further in the direction of public health and mandates? Given the potential risk and the fact that we’re headed into winter.”

“Sure, well, one I would say nothing is off the table, including domestic travel,” Psaki responded.

She continued, “But we do have some strong protections in place already including a requirement of mask-wearing, which was extended, doubling of fines if people are not in compliance. How we look at this is, of course, we base our decisions on the advice of the health and medical experts, what’s going to be most effective, and what is most implementable.”

“Again, nothing is off the table, but the announcement we made today is building on steps we’ve taken to date, significant steps we’ve taken to date, to continue to protect more people, put in place additional precautions that will save more lives,” she added.

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Reuters reports that Biden is extending mask mandates for public transportation through March amid concerns about the newly discovered Omicron variant.

Those requirements were slated to expire in January.

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Additionally, The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the Biden administration was expected to require “everyone entering the country to be tested one day before boarding flights, regardless of their vaccination status or country of departure. Administration officials are also considering a requirement that all travelers get retested within three to five days of arrival.”

Officials were also reportedly considering “a controversial proposal to require all travelers, including U.S. citizens, to self-quarantine for seven days, even if their test results are negative.” Those who do not quarantine would be subject to fines and penalties.

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