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Don't Import Vaccine Mandates for Domestic Travel

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Joe Biden

J.D. Tuccille | 9.22.2021 7:00 AM

As frustrating as it is to those of us who believe in the right to freely roam, international travel is treated as a privilege subject to regulations, document checks, and the whims of government officials. Those restrictions tightened during the pandemic, meaning that the White House's plan to allow entry to travelers who have been vaccinated and tested for COVID-19 constitute an easing of rules for visitors from other countries. But that's not enough for some people who want to impose similar requirements on domestic travel, making movement within the country as conditional as that across borders.

"We're very proud of the fact that we've been able to develop a protocol that will permit travel by individuals and families and business people from the E.U. and the UK, as well as from Brazil and India and other countries, to the United States with proof of vaccination," the White House announced this week.

The key word here is "permit" which is something that applies, in our world, to international travelers. Permission to cross a national border can be granted or withheld. But that's not a consideration that's supposed to apply inside the United States—unless you're a politician who sees opportunity.

"This is a smart decision," Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted in response to the White House move. "I'm also glad to see the Administration is considering extending this requirement to domestic travel, which is what my bill, the Safe Travel Act, would do. I strongly encourage them to make that happen—it would be a major step towards safer travel."

Beyer's bill would "require certain passengers, employees, contractors, and subcontractors of Amtrak and air carriers to provide proof of........

© Reason.com

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