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Porter Airlines set to require mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations or testing for all employees

Click to play video: 'Union, Air Canada waiting for Gov’t mandatory vaccination plan' Union, Air Canada waiting for Gov’t mandatory vaccination plan
WATCH ABOVE: Justin Trudeau announced the federal government is looking into mandating vaccines for airlines. Now Air Canada and a flight attendants union say they want details – Aug 6, 2021

Porter Airlines has announced it will be requiring all of its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present a negative test within three days of the start of their shift.

“We have a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace. 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,” President and CEO Michael Deluce said in a statement on Wednesday.

Read more: Toronto’s Porter Airlines adding flight payment options including monthly instalments

Officials with the company said in the statement that travel-related restrictions have lifted, in large part, due to vaccines while promoting the effectiveness of the shots in preventing death and serious illness. Porter Airlines has been shut down since March 2020.

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The Toronto-based company operates flights throughout Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes, and five cities in the United States.

Read more: Porter Airlines preparing for multi-billion-dollar North American expansion with up to 80 new jets

The statement said when the company restarts on Sept. 8, the new policy will kick in. However, they noted the policy might evolve depending on a recent announcement on possibly mandating vaccines in federally regulated sectors as well as for federal workers.

Earlier in August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he asked Canada’s top bureaucrat to investigate the issue.

Read more: Trudeau suggests mandatory COVID-19 vaccines under review for some workers

“We need to get vaccinated to get through this pandemic, particularly with all the real concerns around the Delta area variant we are facing that is striving hardest, obviously, in under-vaccinated and non-vaccinated people,” Trudeau said on Aug. 5 in response to questions from journalists.

“That’s why I’ve asked the Clerk of the Privy Council, who is responsible for the federal public service, to look at mandatory vaccinations for federal employees. And we’re also looking at federally regulated industries to encourage or perhaps even to mandate vaccinations for those industries.”

— With files from Amanda Connolly

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