Coronavirus Pandemic

Emirates tells staff to get vaccinated or pay for Covid-19 tests

Filed on March 11, 2021

Vaccinated workforce essential for health, safety angle and operations, airline states in internal email

Dubai’s Emirates airline has told its employees to take a free coronavirus vaccine or pay for tests to prove they are not infected with the deadly disease, cautioning that an unvaccinated workforce could create operational issues.

In an internal email, seen by Reuters, the airline told cabin crew that starting March 15, those not vaccinated must pay for a test valid for seven days to the start of flight or standby duty.

“Certain countries may in the future differentiate entry criteria between those who have taken the vaccine and those who did not. Keeping this in mind, having a vaccinated workforce has become essential not just from a health and safety angle but from an operational one too,” the email says.

Those due for their second vaccine dose, have registered to take their initial dose, have a valid medical reason, or have been recently infected or are infected are exempt, it says.

The policy applies to all employees in the UAE, an Emirates spokeswoman told Reuters, declining further comment.

Emirates has offered the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinopharm vaccines to its employees for free since January.

A Covid-19 test typically costs Dh150 at clinics in Dubai and is relatively accessible.

The internal Emirates email said about 60 per cent of cabin crews have been fully or partially vaccinated or are scheduled to be.

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