Sen. Wicker leads call to end federal COVID travel restrictions, mask mandates

Published 11:55 am Thursday, March 10, 2022

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Thursday led 31 senators including Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., of Brookhaven, in a letter to President Biden urging the Administration to lift travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The senators called for an end to pre-departure testing requirements for travel to the U.S. and the federal mask mandate for travel. The current mandate for masks is expected to expire on March 18 if it is not extended by the Biden Administration.

“Americans are ready to move past this pandemic and get on with their normal daily lives,” Wicker said. “Federal travel restrictions like mask mandates and testing requirements are increasingly unnecessary to keep people safe and control the spread of the coronavirus. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are declining, immunity rates are climbing, and a growing number of treatments are now available. It is time for the federal government to recognize this reality, follow the science, and reduce or eliminate these restrictions immediately.”

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Senators who also signed the letter include Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Richard Burr, R-N.C., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Steve Daines, R-Mont., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Mike Braun, R-Ind., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Roy Blunt R-Mo., Rick Scott, R-Fla., John Thune, R-S.D., James Lankford, R-Okla., John Boozman, R-Ark., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Todd Young, R- Ind., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V.

Read the full letter here.