Buttigieg Says U.S. Holiday Travel Safe From Vaccine Disruptions
(Bloomberg) -- Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he doesn’t expect a vaccine requirement that includes airport security screeners to disrupt U.S. holiday-season travel.
Many U.S. federal employees, including Transportation Security Administration workers, face a Monday deadline to document full vaccination or apply for an exemption, though any discipline for workers who don’t comply isn’t immediate.
“The deadline tomorrow, that’s not a cliff,” Buttigieg said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “People aren’t getting immediately pulled off their posts. It’s part of a process to make sure that everyone in the federal workforce is safe.”
Hydrick Thomas, president of the American Federation of Government Employees’ division representing front-line airport security officers, estimated last week that about 40% of members hadn’t been vaccinated. He said he didn’t expect disruptions over Thanksgiving but that Christmas could present problems “if they don’t accommodate employees.”
Buttigieg said he doesn’t foresee vaccination requirements for U.S. domestic travel. In contrast, foreign travelers to the U.S. must document vaccination.
“We found other strategies are highly effective, including masks,” he said. “That is creating a very safe travel environment for Americans.”
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