San Francisco Intl Airport orders on-site workers to be vaccinated

Employees warned that failure to comply could mean fines, mayor London Breed supports stance

San Francisco Intl Airport orders on-site workers to be vaccinated

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has announced that all of their on-site workers should be vaccinated against COVID-19 effective immediately. The mandate also covers the airport's tenants and contractors, who’re further instructed to provide reports of their workers' vaccination status until all on-site personnel receive the jabs.

The airport warned that failure to comply will result in fines, but it did not specify how much. Exemptions can also be made based on medical and religious reasons, but those employees are required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Vaccines are available for free at the airport's SFO Medical Clinic, which is offering a free J&J single-dose jab. Airport workers, residents, and travellers arriving and departing the terminal can avail the jabs at the centre, which has so far administered nearly 2,200 doses.

"As SFO prepares for the upcoming holiday travel season, and the return of pre-pandemic passenger levels, we have an obligation to provide a safe airport facility for the travelling public and our on-site employees,” said airport director Ivar Satero. “According to the Centres for Disease Control, vaccination is the most effective way to prevent transmission of COVID-19.”

Read more: HR leader urges caution over mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies

San Francisco Mayor London Breed also echoed the same statement on vaccination, thanking SFO leadership teams for their support.

"This new requirement supports our aggressive measures to protect the health and safety of our region and our continued economic recovery,” Breed said. “I want to thank SFO for their continued leadership protecting our city and its visitors.”

SFO's mandate makes it the first airport in the US to require their employees to be vaccinated. The airport was also the first air terminal in the country to establish an on-site rapid testing capability.

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