Porter becomes first Canadian airline to mandate COVID-19 testing or vaccination
The first Porter Airlines plane does a fly past at the city centre airport in Toronto, Tuesday Aug. 29, 2006. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Porter Airlines has introduced a new COVID-19 vaccination policy for its team members mandating they must either be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test prior to their shift.
The policy, which was announced in a news release on Wednesday, is expected to go into effect on Sept. 8., aligning with the resumption of flight services to Canadian destinations.
According to officials, all team members must either be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of their shift.
“We have a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace,” Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines, said in a statement. “With vaccines readily available for everyone in Canada and the U.S., and their proven effectiveness, requiring vaccination or regular testing is a critical measure to protect the health of our team members.”
“We are providing a testing option to ensure that personal circumstances are accommodated.”
Deluce added that the policy is “another layer of reassurance for our passengers.”
“In addition to our Healthy Flights program, now every team member passengers come in contact with will either be fully vaccinated or recently tested. Working and flying with Porter will be a safer experience for everyone.”
In the news release, officials tout Porter as the first Canadian airline to have introduced such safety measures.
Porter was shuttered for about 18 months due to travel restrictions amid the pandemic. In July they announced that the airline will begin returning flights in phases in early September, starting with a select group of Canadian destinations including Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, St. John’s, Thunder Bay and Toronto.
The airline, which is headquartered at Billy Bishop Airport, said it would also restart service on its U.S. flights on Sept. 17.