Delta will require COVID-19 vaccine for new employees

Delta Air Lines passenger planes are seen parked due to flight reductions made to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo

Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) will require all new hires in the United States to be vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the first major companies to issue such a mandate.

“Any person joining Delta in the future, future employees, we’re going to mandate they be vaccinated before they can sign up with the company,” Chief Executive Ed Bastian told CNN in an interview late Thursday.

Delta is not making the requirement for current employees, he said.

Bastian noted, however, that employees who are not vaccinated may not be able to work on international flights given possible entry requirements by other countries.

“We know that vaccines are the best tool we have to protect one another and bring an end to the pandemic,” Delta said in a statement on Friday. It called the move to require vaccines for new hires important as “our business recovers and demand for air travel continues to rise.”

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