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Federal bill to abandon COVID-19 vaccine policies for foreign travel

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – US Senator Roger Marshall helped introduce a bill that would scrap policies that require foreign travelers to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccine when entering the US

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) says he has joined the Sens. Kevin Cramer (RN.D.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) to introduce the Free Travel Act which would repeal federal policies requiring international travelers to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Millions of individuals, including many involved in the North American supply chain, must legally travel in and out of the United States on a regular basis for their work. Requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for a commute or work-related liability is an unnecessary headache, but, for the Biden administration, vaccine policy comes before the US economy,” Marshall said. Our legislation ends this madness and reopens the United States for business to all individuals, regardless of their vaccination status.”

As a result of these policies, Marshall said the flow of goods between the United States and Canada has slowed significantly and foreign visitors are barred from visiting American family members, among other issues.

“The Biden administration’s futile COVID-19 mandates have slowed the flow of goods and services. As a northern border state, North Dakotans know this better than most, as many of our businesses and communities are intertwined with Canada,” Cramer said. “Our state relies on commerce and visitors from our neighbors north. This bill would rightfully repeal the traveler vaccine mandate, something the Biden administration should have done a long time ago.”

Currently, Marshall noted that an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires any foreign traveler to provide documentation of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to gain entry into the United States. Additionally, an order from the Department of Homeland Security requires foreign travelers to provide the status vaccination at land borders to gain entry.

“To quote President Biden, ‘the pandemic is over.’ Despite the efforts of most to transition from restrictive COVID-era policies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still requires foreign travelers entering the United States to provide proof that they have received the COVID-19 vaccine. This archaic policy prevents family members from seeing each other and slows down the flow of goods between countries. The United States is open for business and it’s time our policies reflect that,” said Lee.

Senators have indicated that the new bill will eliminate such orders and prohibit future orders of this nature.

“The pandemic is over. The Biden administration should not continue to mandate vaccine passports and reopen the United States to international travel and economic growth regardless of vaccination status,” Braun said.

Marshall also noted that he strongly opposed COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

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