The White House announced on Monday that the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all federal employees and international passengers will end the following week.
“Today, we are announcing that the Administration will end the COVID-19 vaccine requirements for Federal employees, Federal contractors, and international air travelers at the end of the day on May 11, the same day that the COVID-19 public health emergency ends,” said the administration in a statement.
Additionally, the White House announced that it would start to ease up on its vaccination requirements for “Head Start educators, [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services]-certified healthcare facilities, and certain noncitizens at the land border.”
“Since January 2021, COVID-19 deaths have declined by 95%, and hospitalizations are down nearly 91%. Globally, COVID-19 deaths are at their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic,” the White House said Monday.
“Following a whole-of-government effort that led to a record number of nearly 270 million Americans receiving at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are in a different phase of our response to COVID-19 than we were when many of these requirements were put into place.”
The announcement comes after the Biden administration waged a protracted court battle to keep the mandate for federal workers, which was blocked by an appeals court in March.
The White House said in January that Biden planned to end the national emergency declaration, which his administration has used to invoke both Title 42 — allowing the swift removal of illegal immigrants caught crossing the southern border — and a controversial plan by the Education Department to cancel up to $20,000 of federal debt per student borrower .