Senator Rick Scott rolls out legislation banning TSA from requiring proof of COVID vaccines for travelers

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Republican Senator Rick Scott introduced legislation on Wednesday prohibiting Transportation Security Administration officials from requiring Americans to prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The bill, the “Freedom to Fly Act”, would also prohibit TSA workers from requiring US travelers to produce passports for domestic flights in order to protect the confidentiality of personal health information.

WHITE HOUSE WON’T NEED PASSPORTS FOR COVID-19 VACCINE, PSAKI SAYS

Scott’s legislation states that the TSA “may not prescribe or implement any regulations or policies that would allow employees” to “request immunization information from any passenger traveling on a flight between states or territories or possessions of the United States. United States”.

“Americans are working hard to recover from the devastation of COVID-19 and travel is essential to fully reopening our economy,” Scott said in a statement.

“While I continue to encourage anyone who wants to get vaccinated, the federal government has no reason to require travelers to hand over their personal health information to catch a flight,” he said. for follow-up. “My Freedom to Fly Act ensures that families in Florida and across the country can travel freely and without the ridiculous government bureaucracy created by vaccine passports.”

UNITED STATES WILL NOT INVOLVE COVID-19 VACCINE PASSPORT

The White House last month said the federal government would not support a system forcing Americans to carry so-called “vaccine passports,” while suggesting the matter would be left to the private sector amid the news. guidance on masks.

A traveler smiles as he removes his mask for a TSA agent to confirm his identity at the Love Field airport security checkpoint on Friday, May 28, 2021, in Dallas.  (Photo AP / LM Otero)
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A traveler smiles as he removes his mask for a TSA agent to confirm his identity at the Love Field airport security checkpoint on Friday, May 28, 2021, in Dallas. (Photo AP / LM Otero)
(AP)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new mask guidelines last month, which say fully vaccinated people are not required to wear masks indoors or outdoors, or at a physical distance. The CDC, however, still advises fully vaccinated people to wear masks when in crowded indoor environments, such as when taking public transport and in hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters. .

The new guidelines, however, have raised questions about how individuals can prove that they are fully vaccinated and, therefore, that they are not required to wear a mask.

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Last month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was questioned during a press briefing on whether the government would implement a “vaccine passport” system.

“It hasn’t changed our perspective that the federal government won’t play this role,” Psaki said. “The private sector can, and it can inspire the private sector to move forward, which is where we think it is appropriately located.”

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