(CMR) The US House of Representatives has voted to end a requirement that most foreign air travelers be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Under the current requirement imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all adult visitors who are not citizens or permanent residents of the US are required to show proof of COVID vaccination before boarding their flight to the country.
The vote on Wednesday was 227 to 201, with seven Democrats joining Republicans. No Republicans voted against the bill.
The Biden administration in June dropped its requirement that people arriving in the United States by air must test negative for COVID but had not lifted the vaccination requirements for most foreign travelers.
The White House said Tuesday it was opposed to the bill saying the vaccine requirement “has allowed loved ones across the globe to reunite while reducing the spread of COVID-19 and the burdens it places on the health care system in the United States.”
It is not clear if the Senate will take up the bill. If it does, it could be a part of the plans to end the COVID public health emergency on May 11.
“As we approach the end of the public health emergency, the administration will review all relevant policies, including this one,” the White House said.
The CDC says vaccines continue to be the most important public health tool for fighting COVID-19 and recommends all travelers be vaccinated.
The US Travel Association said, “the need for this requirement has long since passed, and we appreciate the bipartisan action by the US. House to end this outdated policy…The U. is the only country that has maintained this policy.”