SAN FRANCISCO—It was announced on Tuesday, September 21 from the Mayor’s Office and the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) requiring all airport workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandate, the first for a U.S. airport, will go into effect immediately and requires all on-site personnel to be vaccinated or, if exempt, be tested weekly for COVID-19.
“We know that vaccines are the most effective way to prevent COVID-19 transmission and reduce hospitalizations and deaths,” said Mayor Breed. “This new requirement supports our aggressive measures to protect the health and safety of our region and our continued economic recovery. I want to thank SFO for their continued leadership protecting our city and its visitors.”
“Throughout this pandemic, SFO has been leading the aviation industry in protecting passengers and employees alike,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “As SFO prepares for the upcoming holiday travel season, and the return of pre-pandemic passenger levels, we have an obligation to provide a safe airport facility for the traveling public and our on-site employees. According to the Centers for Disease Control, vaccination is the most effective way to prevent transmission of COVID-19.”
According to a news release from the Mayor’s Office, every SFO tenant or contractor must require all on-site personnel to be fully vaccinated. The SFO is working to offer free vaccines at the SFO Medical Clinic. Exemptions from the vaccination requirement will granted by the employer for either medical disability or sincerely held religious belief. For employees granted an exemption, the tenant or contractor employer must establish a weekly COVID-19 testing and reporting protocol.
Tenants and contractors will be required to submit reports on the status of their respective workforce until all on-site personnel are fully vaccinated. Failure to comply can lead to fines under the Airport’s Rule and Regulations. In August 2020, SFO became the first U.S. airport to establish an on-site rapid testing capability and currently administers tests to an average of 500 travelers at various on-site locations each day.
In February 2021, SFO first offered vaccines on-site when it partnered with the County of San Mateo to provide vaccines to health care workers and county residents over 65.
The SFO converted one of its multi-level garages as a drive-through vaccination facility. Over 26,500 doses were administered during the program. They launched a vaccination clinic in early May, located in the International Terminal, which offered doses to airport workers, local residents, and travelers. This program was administered through a partnership with Safeway and administered almost 2,200 doses.
Face masks are still required be federal mandate for air travel, the SFO has noted to travelers. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation, masks and COVID related protocols visit www.flysfo.com. Follow us on twitter.com/flysfo and facebook.com/flysfo.