Virgin Australia will follow Qantas’ lead and make COVID vaccines mandatory for all staff.
The airline intends to force all frontline staff, including cabin crew and pilots, to be vaccinated by November 15.
Other staff will be given until the end of March.
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The airline has begun consultations with staff and unions over the vaccine mandate before finalising the policy.
Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka says we have seen in recent times that just one person being infected can have a significant impact.
“Virgin Australia is not alone as a business in being deeply affected by the events of recent months. It is clear that vaccination is the only way back to normal freedom of movement and the richness in life that comes from spending meaningful, in person time with family, friends and colleagues,” Ms Hrdlicka said.
“Vaccination is the only solution to the situation Australia currently finds itself in, and something we have determined is vital to keep our team safe, given the high public exposure most of them encounter day to day.
Over 75 per cent of frontline Virgin staff have already had one dose of a COVID vaccine while 56 per cent of office staff have had one jab.
The airline says it will deal with staff who are unable or unwilling to get a vaccine on a case-by-case basis.
“We know that some team members have questions and concerns about vaccinations. Through an internal campaign of education with qualified experts, we aim to inform and assure as many of our team members as possible.
“We trust medical experts, their advice and the evidence that shows that vaccines save lives and reduce hospitalisation rates.”