The federal government has mandated that all airline workers and passengers be vaccinated against COVID-19 and the new regulations will be in effect by the end of October. The sweeping mandate also includes all government employees and all federally regulated industries, which include the airlines but also cruise lines and railways. Those who are not medically able to be vaccinated will undergo testing. The announcement came shortly after the government announced that proof-of-vaccination documentation is also in the works.
In aviation, the mandate covers pilots, cabin crew, mechanics, air traffic controllers and everyone else who makes the industry work. Unions have already chimed in suggesting they will want a seat at the table for implementation of rules affecting their employees and the government says it’s going to try to get the process right the first time. “We will take the time needed to get this right, but we will also act very quickly,” said Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
The Airline Pilots Association issued a statement saying it recommends all members get vaccinated but it has stopped short of endorsing a mandate without consultation. “ALPA believes that vaccinations are essential to the world’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic but that any vaccination requirements are an issue that must be bargained and ultimately agreed to,” the statement said. “The government must consult with all stakeholders, including directly with the unions representing the affected workers as any steps toward vaccination requirements are taken.”