Mayorkas: Vaccine passports for international travel under close consideration

Mayorkas: Vaccine passports for international travel under close consideration

May 28, 2021

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Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is “taking a very close look” at vaccine passports for international travel.

“Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan asked the secretary if vaccine passports could be required to travel “either into or out of” the country. 

“We’re taking a very close look at that,” Mayorkas replied. 

“One of our principals that has guided us throughout this pandemic is the value of diversity, equity and inclusion and making sure that any passport that we provide for vaccinations is accessible to all and no one is disenfranchised,” he continued. 

The European Union is set to allow travel for vaccinated Americans this summer, though it’s not yet clear how travelers will prove they’ve been vaccinated. 

A spokesperson for DHS said such a passport would be for travelers to easily meet the requirements of other nations. 

“We’ve always said we’re looking at how we can ensure Americans traveling abroad have a quick and easy way to enter other countries. That’s what the Secretary was referring to; ensuring that all U.S. travelers will be able to easily meet any anticipated foreign country entry requirements. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” the spokesperson told Fox News. 

The White House has maintained that the federal government will not support a system requiring Americans to carry a vaccine passport but left it up to private businesses to decide for themselves whether they require proof of vaccination. 

Still, talk of a vaccine passport, which some have argued could speed up reopening travel and the economy, is sure to draw the ire of Republicans. Georgia’s GOP Gov. Brian Kemp and Texas’ Greg Abbott banned state agencies from requiring proof of vaccination, and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation this week banning any business, school or event requiring proof of vaccination. 

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., introduced a bill banning vaccine passports, which includes prohibiting the Biden administration from mandating vaccines and discrimination in employment.  

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