A group of Democratic lawmakers sent letters to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday asking officials to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to fly domestically.
The letters, sent to FAA Administrator Steve Dickson and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, were signed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, along with Reps. Eric Swalwell of California, Donald Beyer of Virginia and Richie Torres of New York. The lawmakers cited the recent emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus as justification for the request.
“Travel at our nation’s airports has essentially returned to pre-pandemic levels but the risk from COVID-19, including from its new variant Omicron, continues to present a major public health threat,” the lawmakers wrote. “Requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test for domestic flights would improve public health and address concerns that passengers have about flying.”
The CDC currently requires either a negative test or proof of vaccination for international travel, and the lawmakers argued that airlines and health agencies could easily adapt their health systems and protocols to accommodate the proposed requirements for domestic travelers.
The proposal follows decisions by several countries to ban international travel as the Omicron variant spreads across the world. It remains unclear how severe the variant’s impact will be on the U.S. health system, and cases have already begun to drop in South Africa, where Omicron originated.
When reached for comment, the FAA referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to the CDC, who did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.