ORLANDO, Florida – The busiest airline serving Orlando International Airport will require its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Southwest Airlines requires employees to be vaccinated by December 8. Employees can also submit a religious or medical exemption.
Southwest Airlines President and CEO Gary Kelly released a statement on the latest move.
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“Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers in complying with the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination directive,” Kelly said in a statement. “I encourage all Southwest employees to comply with the federal directive as quickly as possible, because we value each individual and want to ensure job security for all.”
Noel Kohr landed at MCO on Monday evening. She said she agreed with the vaccine’s mandate.
“I think it’s a good idea. We have to get vaccinated to go to school, to attend different functions, ”Kohr said. “I hope people will get vaccinated. You need to get vaccinated against chickenpox and measles, so what’s the difference? “
The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority said Southwest has more domestic passengers than any other airline at the airport.
With the deadline for employee vaccines coming into effect about two weeks before Christmas, passenger Kendyl Kirkland said she hopes there won’t be a staff shortage.
“I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this. I live out of state with a lot of my family so I’m going to worry a bit about that. Especially since the prices are already on the rise during the holidays for travel anyway.
Several other major airlines have also announced vaccination warrants for their employees, including American and Jet Blue.
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