MADISON (WKOW) — Whenever you fly, you need proof of identification, and some health experts want proof of vaccination to be required, too.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a podcast interview that he would support an air travel vaccine mandate, and he’s not the only one.
“We think it’s a great idea,” Tim and Jane Clift, who were flying from Madison to Colorado, said. “We’re vaccinated, and everyone has their own opinion, but it’s not just yourself who can be considered. You have to think about everyone else’s health.”
Other travelers agreed with the Clifts.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Melissa Gormley said. “I think that there should be other sectors of society that we have vaccine mandates, as well.”
According to a recent Gallup survey, 61% of Americans favor a vaccination requirement for air travel, while 39% oppose it.
The U.S. Travel Association said a mandatory vaccination requirement for domestic travel would negatively impact families with young children who aren’t eligible for the vaccine.
“I think mandating it and leaving those groups, not allowing those groups to travel makes it a little bit more problematic,” Gormley said.
As the airline industry struggles to take flight again, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said he won’t create a vaccine requirement for passengers because of new federal workplace requirements.
“The Biden administration rule on requiring employers over 100 people to get everyone to be vaccinated, I think, is probably the most efficient way as opposed to creating friction in airports,” he said.
Dane County Regional Airport, like many around the nation, is struggling to rebound and airport officials said they hope a mandate, if enacted, would mean business as usual.
“Present day, we’re down about 40% from where we were at this time in 2019,” Michael Riechers, Dane County Regional Airport’s marketing and communications director, said. “At our low point, we were down about 90%. We’re gonna do the best we can to keep the traveler safe once they arrive here at Dane County Regional Airport, and we’re happy to see the folks traveling.”