San Francisco International Airport is now demanding that all workers be vaccinated against COVID-19, the first airport in the US to implement such health regulations.
“As SFO prepares for the upcoming holiday travel season and the return of pre-pandemic passenger numbers, we have an obligation to provide safe airport facilities for traveling visitors and our local staff,” said airport director Ivar C. Satero.
The regulation, which will apply from Tuesday, obliges all tenants and contractors at the airport to ensure that their employees are vaccinated on site. Anyone who is exempted for medical reasons or because of religious beliefs must undergo a weekly coronavirus test.
Airlines and contractors are required to regularly report vaccinations and those who fail to comply can face fines, according to a statement from Mayor London Breed.
San Francisco is already demanding that city workers be vaccinated. Late last month, the city informed workers who refused to reveal their vaccination status that they were facing a 10-day ban.
San Franciscans are among the most heavily vaccinated in the state. According to the Times tracker, 80% of residents are at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19.
The airport offers free vaccines in the SFO Medical Clinic in the International Terminal and on-site rapid tests for the virus. An average of 500 travelers are tested at the airport every day.
“This new requirement supports our aggressive efforts to protect the health and safety of our region,” said Breed, “and our ongoing economic recovery. I would like to thank SFO for their ongoing guidance that protects our city and its visitors. “