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United Airlines First US Carrier to Make Vaccines Mandatory for all US Staff

United Airlines First US Carrier to Make Vaccines Mandatory for all US Staff

United Airlines has issued a new rule requiring all of its US-based staff to be vaccinated, the first US airline to do so. The airline also confirmed that it wouldn’t apply the rule to its passengers or to staff based outside of the U.S.

United has set an October deadline for all US-based employees to get full doses of any of the three vaccines currently being administered in the U.S.

The airline also said that the deadline might be moved forward should the three vaccines receive federal approval – despite the fact that over 330 million vaccines have been distributed, none of them has yet to get FDA approval, which is standard for all drugs administered in the U.S.

Religious and Medical Exemptions

United is adopting a zero tolerance policy toward any employee that refuses to present proof of vaccination, threatening to fire anyone who doesn’t comply. Only employees who can offer a valid religious or medical reason for not getting vaccinated will be exempted.

If an employee is successful in getting an exemption, they will have to wear a mask at all times.

According to CNN, three of the largest unions at the airline have said that they would accept the new mandate. The flight attendants’ union said that 80 per cent of its members were already vaccinated, while the pilots’ union said over 90 per cent of its members had gotten a vaccine.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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