The US government has extended its Covid-19 vaccination requirement for air travelers until April 10, 2023 as the mandate was set to expire on Monday.
An Emergency Amendment issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) cited the “risk that Covid-19” poses to the US healthcare system.
“The proclamation also required (Department of Homeland Security” to take steps to ensure airlines do not permit noncitizens barred from entry under the (mandate) to board an aircraft traveling to the United States,” wrote the TSA.
“These policies are intended to limit the risk that COVID-19, including variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, is introduced, transmitted, and spread into and throughout the United States, potentially overwhelming United States healthcare and public health resources, endangering the health and safety of the American people, and threatening the security of our civil aviation system.”
Other western nations have done away with vaccination requirements for entry, including Canada, making the US an outlier in the developed world.
Millions of Canadians remain prohibited from entering the US for having chosen to not receive a Covid-19 shot. At least 16.7% of the population is unvaccinated, while nearly 20% are not fully vaccinated – meaning they have not received a primary series of at least two Covid-19 vaccines.
Last year, the US also extended its Covid-19 vaccination requirement for the land border, requiring Canadians to show proof of vaccination should they wish to cross the border. The mandate also extends to ferry terminals.
At the same time, the nation’s southern border continues to allow migrants to enter into the country at an unprecedented rate.
A recent report by the US Customs and Border Patrol found that the number of migrants entering Florida was five times as many as last year including those who have not been vaccinated.
In a recent statement, President Joe Biden compared migrants crossing illegally into the US to Jewish people fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930s.