Employees and contractors of Cathay Pacific, the flag carrier of Hong Kong, have until October 1, 2021, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or face being locked out of work.

Starting December 1 only those fully vaccinated will be allowed to enter the company's premises, with regular testing no longer be allowed as an alternative for vaccination.

The policy change was announced in an internal memo, seen by the South China Morning Post. The document does not mention how the requirement is going to be enforced and whether employees that do not agree with it are going to be fired. According to the memo, the airline will give consideration to those unable to receive the vaccine for medical reasons.

Flight and cabin crew had already been given an August 31, 2021 deadline for vaccination, with the vast majority of them having received their jabs already. According to Hong Kong media, the  new policy comes after  a third-party contractor working at  Cathay's VIP lounge caught the virus.

A number of world’s major carriers – such as Qantas and United Airlines – have started mandating vaccinations for their crew recently, mostly after suffering from costly multi-spreader incidents. Singapore-based airlines have also now set deadlines for employees to get vaccinated

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Cathay Pacific narrowed its net loss in the first half of 2021.