The Chicago-based airline confirmed to Fox Business that CEO Scott Kirby is supporting efforts to make vaccination a requirement for employees. The news follows the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s requirement that all international travelers flying into the U.S. show proof of a negative coronavirus test.
A spokesperson for United told Fox Business that getting employees vaccinated was something Kirby is “strongly considering,” though it is not yet a policy.
Kirby had first expressed his support for making the vaccine mandatory at an employee town hall on Thursday, as first reported by CNBC.
With more than 15 million people in the U.S. vaccinated with first doses, more companies are considering policies to get public-facing employees inoculated, and airline employees are considered front-line workers. Southwest Airlines on Thursday said it would offer free vaccination for its employees, who will be “strongly encouraged” to have the vaccine administered, a spokesperson told Fox News on Friday.
American Airlines, meanwhile, said it does not plan to require its team members to receive the vaccine unless they are mandated for entry in certain places. The airline announced earlier this month the debut of a mobile health "passport" via its app VeriFLY, to help support the public's efforts to abide by COVID-19 testing requirements.
And internationally, Singapore Airlines said it's also aiming to get its entire crew, including the cleaning staff and baggage handlers, vaccinated in the next two months.
Domestically, a number of retailers with front-line workers including grocery store workers have said they will incentivize workers to get the vaccine. Dollar General was among the first to announce a policy giving workers four hours of pay to get the vaccine. Others, like Trader Joe's and Aldi, have also implemented similar plans.