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Delta Air Lines CEO announces airline company will require all new employees to be COVID-19 vaccinated

Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian announced Friday that the airline company will require all new employees to be vaccinated for COVID.

This announcement makes Delta the only major airline so far to require a vaccine for at least a portion of its workforce. While most carriers have taken steps to boost vaccination rates, including setting up centers at airports to encourage employees to get the shot, others aren’t requiring they do so. “Any person joining Delta in the future, we’re going to mandate that they be vaccinated before they can sign up with the company,” Bastian said. The vaccine will continue to be optional for workers currently employed by the company.

“I’m not going to mandate and force people if they have some specific reason why they don’t want to get vaccinated, but I am going to strongly encourage them and make sure they understand the risk to not getting vaccinated,” Bastian said. Bastian also added that those who opt out of the vaccine may be limited in the work they can do for the company. For example, unvaccinated employees may not be able to make international flights since the vaccine may be required by other countries.

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ARTICLE: DUSTIN RODGERS

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: TRAVEL + LEISURE

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