USA World News

Key points: Biden’s new vaccination plan at a glance

Joe Biden has announced a sweeping new string of tough measures designed to combat the continued spread of Covid-19 as the Delta variant of the virus spikes across the United States.

The president urged nearly 80m unvaccinated Americans to get the shot and told that group that the rest of the country’s “patience is wearing thin” with them.

Mr Biden cannot simply mandate that all Americans get vaccinated against the virus, but the new rules could cover as many as 100m people, according to the White House.

Here are the key points of the Biden administration’s plan that was announced on Thursday.

:: All federal employees required to be vaccinated, with no option of regular testing to opt-out. Vast majority of federal employees will get 75-day grace period to get vaccinated.

:: Federal mandate will apply to all employees of executive branch, the White House, all federal agencies and every member of the armed services, but not those who work in Congress or federal court system.

READ ALSO:   Police arrest mafia godfather's son Valentino Gionta Jnr after discovering secret tunnel

:: President will sign executive order extending vaccination requirement to employees of all contractors who do business with the federal government.

:: 17m health care workers employed by institutions that accept Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement will be required to get vaccinated, including hospitals and nursing homes.

:: All employers with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or get tested weekly. Companies could face fines of up to $14,000 per employee if they do not comply.

:: All 300,000 educators in federal Head Start programmes will be required to be vaccinated and president will call on governors to require vaccinations for schoolteachers and staff.

:: Free booster shots for most Americans once approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

:: Reduce costs of Covid-19 testing for Americans, administration to work with US retailers such as Wal-Mart, Amazon and Kroger to make at-home testing kits available “at cost.”

READ ALSO:   Afghan judge sentences 4 to death in mob killing of woman

:: Transportation Safety Administration will double fines on passengers who refuse to wear masks on planes. Minimum fine will be raised to $500 and maximum fine raised to $3,000 for repeat offenders.