Rick Scott introduces bill banning 'vaccine passports' for domestic flights

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Tuesday introduced a bill banning proof of vaccinations for domestic travel.

The measure — called the Freedom to Fly Act — prohibits the Transportation Security Administration from implementing policies that would allow employees to request information regarding vaccinations from any passenger traveling in the U.S.

Scott said in a statement that travel is “critical to getting our economy fully re-opened” as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

ADVERTISEMENT

“While I continue to encourage everyone who wants one to get the vaccine, the federal government has no business requiring travelers to turn over their personal medical information to catch a flight,” Scott said. “My Freedom to Fly Act ensures families in Florida and across the country can travel freely and without the ridiculous government bureaucracy created by vaccine passports.”

The move comes amid a heated debate surrounding vaccine passports and requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as the nation returns to normal.

Republicans have argued that requiring such proof interferes with an individual’s personal choice on whether to get inoculated.

The White House has repeatedly said that there are no plans to issue a federal vaccine passport.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida poll: DeSantis falls behind Crist as COVID-19 cases surge Overnight Health Care: Florida becomes epicenter of COVID-19 surge | NYC to require vaccination for indoor activities | Biden rebukes GOP governors for barring mask mandates Biden rebukes GOP governors for barring mask mandates MORE (R) was the first governor to sign an executive order banning vaccine passports in early April.

ADVERTISEMENT

Other GOP-led states, including Texas, Alaska, Georgia, Arizona, Wyoming and, most recently, Alabama have also passed similar measures.

Last week, GOP Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUp next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (Texas), Mike BraunMichael BraunBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet CDC backtracks with new mask guidance GOP senators invite Yellen to brief them on debt ceiling expiration, inflation MORE (Ind.) and Cynthia LummisCynthia Marie LummisFormer Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi dies after bicycle accident Former Sen. Mike Enzi hospitalized after serious bicycle accident Republicans raise concerns about Olympians using digital yuan during Beijing Games MORE (Wyo.) introduced a bill banning the federal government from establishing vaccine passports, or working with third parties like airlines or other global entities to create them. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 62.9 percent of adults age 18 and over have had at least one dose of a vaccine, and 51.9 percent have been fully inoculated.