Lee Bill Makes Travelers Free as a Bird
March 2, 2023
WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Fair Removal of Existing and Enforced Bans on Immunization Relating to Destination (FREEBIRD) Act to end the COVID-19 vaccine mandate placed on international air visitors to the United States. Foreign travelers, including family members, friends, and business relations, are being kept off U.S. soil due to the air travel vaccine mandate, which remains for nonimmigrant, noncitizen foreign travelers. The United States is one of the only countries that still impose this mandate.
Sen. Lee’s bill declares that the CDC’s requirement “shall have no force or effect” upon the bill’s enactment, prohibits federal funds from being used to carry out the CDC requirement, and prevents the CDC from ordering future COVID-19 vaccine mandates for foreign travelers.
“President Biden himself declared that the pandemic is over. Why, then, is the United States the only free country requiring international visitors to prove their vaccination status? It makes no sense that we would separate friends and family, damage our tourism industry, and hurt our economy when the world has moved on,” said Sen. Lee. “It's time for the United States to join with the rest of the free world, reunite friends and family, and allow travelers to be 'free as a bird.’”
Sen. Lee’s FREEBIRD Act is cosponsored in the Senate by Sens. Roger Marshall (R-KS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).
Sen. Lee’s FREEBIRD Act is supported by:
- World Trade Center Utah
- Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
- Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Heritage Action
- U.S. Travel Association
- Utah Direct Selling Coalition
- Alliance for Natural Health USA
- Young Living
- RidgeCrest Herbals
“The Alliance for Natural Health USA applauds Senator Mike Lee's introduction of the FREEBIRD Act, which will once again permit our friends and family from abroad to visit the U.S. while retaining freedom of choice over their health,” said Gretchen DuBeue, Executive and Legal Director of the Alliance for Natural Health USA. “Vaccine mandates are coercive policies that undermine personal freedom, and we greatly appreciate Senator Lee's leadership in dismantling these restrictive policies.”
“The Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce believes in and advocates for a free market approach to business with minimal government intervention. Travel, especially interstate travel, is protected in our Constitution and removing the requirement for vaccination allows the free exercise of business,” said Curtis Blair, CEO of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce. “We support Senator Lee’s efforts to align our nation’s COVID-19 foreign visitor requirements with other countries. Utah’s tourism industry represents a vital part of the state’s economy, supporting over 100,000 jobs. This approach provides a boost to tourism across the nation, while ensuring public safety.”
For a one pager, click HERE.
For full bill text, click HERE.