President Biden said during a speech Thursday that all federal government employees must attest to their vaccination status and that those who have not been vaccinated will be required to get tested once or twice per week, wear a mask and engage in social distancing. He also said these individuals will generally not be permitted to travel for work.
A White House news release indicates that all of this will also apply to onsite contractors.
President Biden said that he is instructing his administration to make moves "to apply similar standards to all federal contractors."
Biden also announced that he is asking the Department of Defense to consider how and when it will place COVID-19 vaccination on the list of vaccinations that individuals serving in the military are required to receive.
The president strongly urged everyone who has not yet been vaccinated to go and get vaccinated against COVID-19.
"So please, exercise responsible judgment. Get vaccinated, for yourself, for the people you love, for your country," Biden plead with the public during his remarks.
The federal government employs more than 4 million Americans, the release said.
President Biden Delivers Remarks Laying Out the Next Steps to Get More Americans Vaccinatedwww.youtube.com
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 57.7% of the U.S. population ages 12 and older has been fully vaccinated while 66.9% of that segment of the population has had at least on dose.
People ages 12 and older are currently able to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the U.S, while the other vaccines are not yet available for use in those younger than 18.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines both involve two shots while Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine involves just one shot.
So far there have been more than 34.7 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and more than 612,00 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The CDC is recommending that even if people have been fully vaccinated they should wear masks when they are indoors in a public setting in regions of the country with substantial or high transmission.