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WestJet outlines plan to "operate as a fully vaccinated airline" ahead of Oct. 30 mandate

  • Air
  •   10-25-2021  6:02 am
  •   Pax Global Media
WestJet outlines plan to "operate as a fully vaccinated airline" ahead of Oct. 30 mandate
All WestJet Group employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (WestJet)
Pax Global Media

The WestJet Group has outlined details on its mandatory employee and traveller vaccination policy in line with the upcoming Government of Canada mandate. 

Effective Oct. 30, 2021, The WestJet Group will implement Ottawa's mandatory vaccination policy for air travellers and will operate as a fully vaccinated airline, managing minimal accommodations pursuant to human rights law.

"The implementation of these policies mark a major confidence milestone for our industry as Canadians can fly knowing that they are travelling within a fully-vaccinated ecosystem," said Ed Sims, WestJet Group, president and CEO, on Oct. 22. "We are taking all necessary steps to ensure our guests are advised of the new requirements for travel prior to taking their next flight."

For travellers 

For travel on or after Oct. 30, 2021, the implementation of the federal government's mandatory vaccination policy for travellers marks a "major change to the Canadian travel journey," WestJet said. 

For Phase I, for travel between October 30 and November 29, 2021, in order to travel with The WestJet Group, guests must prepare to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a valid PCR test to demonstrate the requirements for travel. 

For Phase II, for travel on or after November 30, 2021, only proof of vaccination for guests 12 years or older, with narrow exceptions, will be acceptable for travel on the WestJet Group.

Guests are advised to click here for the most up-to-date information, including the limited options for exceptions to this new policy.

READ MORE: WestJet requiring all workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

The WestJet Group said it will be actively communicating this expectation for travel through a variety of notifications including: notification emails; check-in declaration; validation requirements; in addition to changes to and

"As we transition to a fully vaccinated company and Canadian airline industry, we will continue to advocate for the recalibration of travel guidance and policies that were implemented prior to the widespread availability of vaccines," continued Sims.

Employee policy

As previously announced, effective October 30, 2021, WestJet and Swoop will transition to fully vaccinated airlines with the implementation of the company's mandatory employee vaccination policy.

"Vaccination is our best way out of this pandemic, and more than 98 per cent of our workforce self-declared their full-vaccination intent prior to the implementation of these policies," said Sims. "We continue to work together with our employee, labour and contractor groups to ensure the successful implementation of our corporate policy."

All WestJet Group employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and full vaccination status is a requirement of employment for all future employees hired by the WestJet Group, with accommodations managed pursuant to human rights law.

Employees who failed to achieve full vaccination status by October 30, 2021, face unpaid leave and termination of employment.

International vaccine passport 

The WestJet Group said it welcomes Canada's standardized and digital proof of vaccination that will enable Canadians to securely and quickly demonstrate their vaccination status in order to travel abroad and is awaiting additional details on timelines, nationwide availability and global acceptance.

The “pan-Canadian” system, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last week, issued by Canada's provinces and territories. 

As outlined in this official backgrounder, the proof of vaccination will show one’s name, date of birth, and COVID-19 vaccine history — including which doses were injected and when.

It will also include a QR code that holds one’s vaccination history.  

You can download it into your phone, you can print it out, you can ask for a copy by mail if you don’t have those capacities, but you are now able to show proofs of vaccination immediately in all those provinces, and all other provinces have agreed and are working hard to come online,” Trudeau said last Thursday (Oct. 21). 

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