By Deirdre Tynan • 18 August 2021 • 8:02
Australian airline Qantas is the latest large company to enforce a Covid ‘no jab-no job’ policy.
Airport staff, cabin crew and pilots must be fully vaccinated by mid-November and other employees must be vaccinated by the end of March 2022.
“We provide an essential service, so this will help guard against the disruptions that can be caused by just one positive Covid-case shutting down a freight facility or airport terminal,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement.
“It’s clear that vaccinations are the only way to end the cycle of lockdowns and border closures and for a lot of Qantas and Jetstar employees that means getting back to work again,” he added.
Qantas follows on American carrier, United Airlines, will now require its US employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19 this fall, becoming the first major airline in the world to implement a vaccine mandate for the workforce.
The airline’s decision came as several corporations including Google and Netflix announced vaccine requirements for their employees to counter the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.
“We know some of you will disagree with this decision to require the vaccine for all United employeesbut, we have no greater responsibility to you and your colleagues than to ensure your safety when you’re at work, and the facts are crystal clear: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated,” said United CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett on August 6.
United employees will in future be required to show proof of vaccination five weeks after the Food and Drug Administration grants the Covid-19 vaccines full approval, or October 25, whichever comes first. Federal officials are expected to approve Pfizer’s vaccine by early next month.
All of the company’s 67,000 employees will be subject to the Covid vaccine mandate, except those who will be exempted for medical or religious reasons.
“Over the last 16 months, Scott has sent dozens of condolences letters to the family members of United employees who have died from Covid-19. We’re determined to do everything we can to try to keep another United family from receiving that letter,” said a spokesperson for United executives.
United officials announced to news outlets that about 80 per cent of its flight attendants and 90 per cent of its pilots are already vaccinated.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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