Air Canada suspends more than 800 employees under new vaccine mandate

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More than 800 Air Canada (ADH2) employees have been temporarily suspended from active duties for choosing not to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

While approximately 27,000 Air Canada (ADH2) staff (more than 96% of airline employees), including flight attendants, customer service agents, and others, are fully vaccinated, a minority, roughly 800 employees, have failed to comply with local federal rules. 

“The employees who are not vaccinated or do not have a medical or other permitted exemption have been put on unpaid leave,” Air Canada’s (ADH2) chief executive officer Michael Rousseau explained to local media on November 2, 2021. 

At the beginning of October 2021, the government issued a new requirement for federally regulated companies to update policies regarding mandatory employee vaccination, with exemptions applied to staff members for whom it is not recommended to receive the vaccine due to health conditions. 

The new tighter vaccination rules also apply to those who aim to travel from Canadian airports and on trains. Starting from October 30, 2021, passengers departing from Canadian airports, and travelers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, must be fully vaccinated in order to travel. 

Meanwhile, there is a short transition period for those who are still in the process of getting vaccinated. Travel is permitted with proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of travel. 

However, owing to the current rules, the transition period will only be in place until November 30, 2021. By this date, all travelers must receive their second dose, with the exception of the emergency travel or medical exemption. 


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