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Air Canada brings in mandatory COVID vaccination policy for all employees, new hires

New policy would bring it into accord with proposed federal rules
The Air Canada logo is seen on a hangar at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

All new and existing employees with Air Canada must be vaccinated against COVID-19, the airline announced Wednesday (Aug. 25).

The airline said that all staff will have to report their vaccination status by Oct. 30.

The move comes after the federal government said in August that it would require all employees in federally regulated industries to be vaccinated as soon as the end of September but no later than the end of October. Interprovincial plane and train passengers is also scheduled to be required near the end of October.

Air Canada is the first major airline in the country to come out with an official policy before a federal requirement comes into effect.

“Under the mandatory vaccination policy, testing will not be offered as an alternative,” the airline said in a statement, but noted that it will accommodate those who cannot be immunized for medical reasons.

Those who choose not to get vaccinated by Oct. 30 however will face “consequences up to and including unpaid leave or termination.”

In a statement, WestJet said it was working to implement the federal government’s vaccination policy for its staff by the end of October.

READ MORE: Mandatory COVID vaccines for passengers on planes, trains and cruise ships in Canada


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