On May 1, 2023, the Biden Administration announced the end of COVID-19 vaccine requirements for federal employees, federal contractors, and international air travel at the end of the day on May 11. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that they will start the process to end vaccine requirements for Head Start educators, CMS-certified healthcare facilities, and certain noncitizens at the land border.
On May 9, 2023, the Administration issued an Executive Order revoking prior Executive Orders 14042 (relating to federal contractors) and 14043 (relating to federal employees). On the same day, the Administration issued a Proclamation revoking Proclamation 10294 (relating to air travel).
On May 9, 2023, HHS announced that the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 would also expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023. As part of the end of the PHE, the requirement for private insurance companies to cover COVID-19 tests without cost-sharing, both for OTC and laboratory tests, is also ending. People with traditional Medicare will continue to receive PCR and antigen tests with no cost-sharing when the lab tests are ordered by a physician or certain other healthcare providers.
And on May 1, 2023, DHS announced that non-U.S. travelers entering the U.S. via land ports of entry and ferry terminals would no longer be required to be fully vaccinated or to provide related proof of vaccination upon request.
Affected employers (particularly including federal contractors and healthcare providers) would be well advised to revisit their COVID-19 vaccine requirement policies. To the extent that employers implemented vaccine requirements solely to comply with federal mandates, those mandates are scheduled to sunset. However, there may be remaining state, local, or contractual vaccine requirements that could survive the end of the federal mandates. If employers have any questions about how these federal changes may impact their employees or business, those employers should contact their DWT employment attorney.