U.S. House Votes to Repeal Vax Mandate for Foreign Air Arrivals Despite White House Opposition

It was bound to happen sooner rather than later. As Open Jaw predicted on 31JAN, the U.S. requirement that foreign air arrivals provide proof of vaccination was about to be just a mention in the history books.

One nail in the coffin was the NOV election that reduced the number of Democratic legislators. The other was the White House's own declaration on 30JAN that it would end COVID's public health emergency status as of 11MAY.

At the time of the announcement, the administration did not indicate that it would drop the foreign air arrival vax mandate, saying only: "As we approach the end of the public health emergency, the administration will review all relevant policies, including this one." However, it was apparent that the writing was on the wall, especially with the change in the political balance of power in Washington and the wide condemnation by the travel industry as well as the general public, of the measure.

The requirement that foreign air arrivals prove their vaccination status prior to departure - one of the few remaining COVID travel restrictions in the world - was simply unsustainable.

Sure enough, on 08FEB, the U.S. House of Representatives, led by a Republican representative's measure to rescind the mandate, voted 227 - 201 in favour, as the Globe reported, with a number of Democrats supporting the bill.

That is only step one. It would also have to be passed by the Senate, and as the Globe reports, It is not clear if the Senate will take up the bill.

But the U.S. Travel Association has already chimed in with its approval, saying, "“the need for this requirement has long since passed, and we appreciate the bipartisan action by the U.S. House to end this outdated policy … The U.S. is the only country that has maintained this policy.”

On its part, the U.S. public health agency the CDC says vaccines continue to be the most important public health tool for fighting COVID-19 and recommends all travellers be vaccinated. The CDC has not commented publicly on the vote in Congress.

Lynn Elmhirst


With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

You may also like
Exodus Tours Cycling
Exodus Puts the "Adventure" in its New Name
Exodus Travels has changed its name to Exodus Adventure Travels to emphasize its leadership in the adventure travel market.
Oceania Cruises Announces 2025 Summer Sailings to French Polynesia, Hawaii
Oceania Cruises has announced seven new summer sailings to French Polynesia and Hawaii on board the 670-guest Regatta in 2025, which ...
Miami Turns up the Heat for Canadian Advisors
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau brought the heat to Toronto this week, dropping by to introduce agents and media, ...
Regent Seven Seas Cruises' New Travel Advisor Program
"Regent Elevate" provides three new incentives: "Elevated Insights," Elevated Support," and Elevated Growth," including promotional offers, "commissions-with-a-comma" and gift cards.
HAL Launches Global 'Port to Plate' Fresh Fish Menu
Via a worldwide network of 60 ports, Holland America Line is launching a new program to serve 80 types of fresh ...

Talk Back! Post a comment: