Washington – With most airline agencies and businesses now requiring coronavirus vaccines among their employees, the White House COVID-19 Task Force says it will not affect the upcoming holiday travel season, the biggest travel run of the past two years. A jump is expected.
“Vaccination requirements will not affect holiday travel,” White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Ziants said Wednesday.
Businesses are increasingly mandating that their employees receive a COVID-19 vaccine, citing health concerns and Broadening new federal requirements for large employers. Those who do not follow company policies are subject to termination of employment in many cases.
Federal workers have until November 22 to fully get the vaccine, and federal contractors have until December 8.
Ziants noted that several federal contractors have already taken steps to require vaccinations, including most major airlines.
“And as with any time frame, we expect to see an increase in compliance toward the end of that time frame as we get closer to the deadline,” Ziants continued.
For those who don’t adhere to the deadline, Ziants said the first step is a “period of education and counseling” rather than immediate termination.
“It is important to remember that this is a process, and the point here is to vaccinate people, not punish them. Therefore, agencies will not remove employees from federal service unless they Must have gone through a process of education and counseling,” Ziants said. “So, the bottom line is this: Requirements for federal workers and contractors will not disrupt government services on which people depend. Agencies have the necessary flexibility to implement mandates without impacting critical functions.”
Several companies and organizations, including United Airlines, have or intend to fire unvaccinated workers.
As of October 8, more than 230 United Airlines employees have faced dismissals for not complying with the company’s vaccine mandate, a spokesman for the airline told Granthshala television stations. United said about 99.7% of its employees have already been vaccinated.
Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released official public health guidance for its 2021 holiday season, urging people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus while continuing to wear masks indoors and in public places. .
The guidance stresses that people should get vaccinated before the holidays if they have not already done so. For young children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, the CDC suggests reducing the risk of exposure by making sure people around them are vaccinated.
“If you’re considering traveling for a vacation or event, visit CDC Travel Pages to help you decide what’s best for you and your family. The CDC still recommends delaying travel unless you complete vaccination,” the agency wrote.
For Americans traveling within the United States, vaccination requirements do not apply. Apart from the ongoing mask mandate and some restrictions on alcohol, the holiday travel season will remain largely the same, with no testing or proof of vaccination required.
For international travelers, the US said last month that it would allow foreigners to fly into the country this coming November if they have vaccination proof and a negative COVID-19 test – a change in rules that replaced rules that Many non-citizens were excluded from Europe and beyond. Virus cases are low.
The changes, which take effect in November, are separated by 18 months of travel restrictions to allow families and others to plan long-awaited reunification and to allow foreigners with work permits to return to their jobs in the US.
Giants announced new policies that require all foreign travelers still traveling to the US to demonstrate proof of vaccination before boarding, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of flight.
The latest guidance comes as the nation prepares for another potential surge in COVID-19 infections as cold weather moves people indoors while the pandemic persists.
This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed to this story.