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Will COVID-19 Vaccines Be Required To Fly In The United States?

Published: Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 3:48pm
Updated: Monday, April 19, 2021 - 1:07pm
Christina Estes/ KJZZ
A Sky Harbor Airport employee hands out free masks at Terminal 4 on Sept. 4, 2020.

With more people getting coronavirus vaccines, airlines expect to see more people booking flights.

International travelers must currently show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before getting on a plane bound for the U.S. When it comes to vaccinations, Jack McCain, state and local government affairs director with American Airlines, thinks international proof is likely. 

“The way the constitutional government works it’s a lot easier to make restrictions or requirements to travel internationally or come into the U.S., domestically we don’t think so,” he said.

McCain said there could be domestic exceptions, like Hawaii, which currently requires proof of a negative test. 

Andrea Goodpasture, director of airport affairs with Southwest Airlines, said, “We are seeing internationally some different restrictions, you know, specifically with negative testing, specific to testing and for inbound U.S. passengers, but right now we’re not hearing things that would indicate there will be a requirement for vaccination.”

On Dec. 1, 2020, Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of World Travel and Tourism Council said the group supports proof of a negative test but not a mandatory vaccine. 

In a statement on the group’s website, she said, “It will take a significant amount of time to vaccinate the global population, particularly those in less advanced countries, or in different age groups, therefore we should not discriminate against those who wish to travel but have not been vaccinated.”

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