Canada mandates vaccination for federally regulated airline workers – Air Canada and WestJet approve

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WestJet working to implement the government’s mandatory vaccination requirement for federally regulated airline employees by the end of October

The WestJet Group today welcomed the announcement by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra regarding mandatory vaccinations for federally regulated airline employees.

We continue to be a strong partner in Canada’s vaccination rollout and are working diligently to implement the government’s policy on mandatory vaccines for airline employees,” said Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President, People and Culture. “Vaccinations are the most effective way to ensure the safety of our guests and employees, while curbing the spread of COVID-19.”

We understand our people will have questions and will be discussing with our employee and labour groups in real-time,” continued Mr. Porter. “We are seeking additional detail from the federal government on the requirement and are committed to working together to ensure the successful implementation of the policy by late October.”

WestJet currently has an active workforce of approximately 6,000 WestJetters, while 4000 remain inactive or furloughed. Subsidiary Swoop currently has an active workforce of 340 employees, while more than 170 remain inactive or furloughed.

The WestJet Group will adhere to the requirement for domestic travellers to be fully vaccinated or tested prior to departure. The airline group is advocating that rapid-antigen testing is an acceptable, accessible and affordable alternative for unvaccinated travellers.

 

Air Canada welcomes new health and safety measures by the Government of Canada to facilitate safer travel

The government urged to further adopt recommendations of its COVID-19 advisory panel

Air Canada today issued the following statement in response to the Government of Canada’s announcement that federally regulated employees in the transport sector must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 31, 2021.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Air Canada has advocated and continually adopted science-based measures to keep its customers and employees safe. This has included encouraging its employees to get vaccinated, setting up workplace clinics and supporting community vaccination programs to make vaccinations more widely accessible.

Although Air Canada awaits further details about today’s announcement on mandatory vaccinations, it is a welcome step forward in the evolving measures to protect the health and safety of airline employees, customers and all Canadians. Air Canada is committed to working with its unions and the Government of Canada to implement this new policy in an effective manner with the aim of increasing safety and streamlining the application of science-based health and safety measures in a manner consistent with the Government’s COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel report of May 5, 2021. In particular, for travellers, the panel recommended: that there should be no pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated travellers; acknowledging that testing at both departure and arrival is excessive for these passengers; and that effective self-administered rapid antigen tests now available can safely replace slower and more expensive PCR testing for pre-departure tests.

Air Canada also remains committed to the continued development and application of new safety measures and processes that are effective and convenient for customers as they become available. Such measures are vital to the safe restart of the air transport industry which, apart from enabling Canadians to travel freely, is also an essential driver of economic activity in Canada.

MONTREALAug. 13, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ 

 

Note: Canada is even going one step further. “Starting soon, all commercial air travellers and passengers on interprovincial trains and large marine vessels with overnight accommodations (such as cruise ships) will have to be vaccinated

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