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Coronavirus

Qantas to Require Vaccines for Airline Workers

CANBERRA, Australia — Qantas Group said on Wednesday the Australian airline company will require all of its workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Front-line employees – including cabin crew, pilots and airport staff – must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15, while remaining Qantas employees have until the end of March, the Sydney-based company said in a statement.

Exemptions will be made for employees who are unable to be vaccinated for documented medical reasons, the statement said. Such exemptions are expected to be “very rare.”

Qantas said a survey found that 89% of its workers were already vaccinated or planned to be.

U.S. airlines are divided over whether to insist on their staffs getting vaccinated.

Qantas has become the second Australian company outside the health and aging care sectors to make COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory.

The Transport Workers Union, which represents workers for Qantas Airways and subsidiary Jetstar, criticized the company for making the announcement without a plan to ensure employees could secure vaccine shots.

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