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All SFO Workers Have to Be Vaccinated Under New Mandate

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It takes a small army to keep San Francisco International Airport running day in and day out, with the total on-site workforce estimated at more than 46,000 people shortly before the pandemic hit. As of Tuesday, all of those workers are required to be fully vaccinated.

In a first-of-its-kind U.S. airport mandate announced by Mayor London Breed and SFO Director Ivar C. Satero, all on-site workers will have to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. The mandate applies to all airport workers, including those employed by the city, airport tenants and contractors. 

The mandate is effective immediately. Regular status reports will be required until all employees have confirmed full vaccination.

Religious and medical exemptions may be granted, but weekly testing will be required in those cases. 

The decision comes ahead of what’s expected to be a rush on travel with upcoming holidays and Monday’s White House decision to ease U.S. travel restrictions. Beginning in November, vaccinated foreign travelers from 33 countries are again welcome.

Satero said:

“Throughout this pandemic, SFO has been leading the aviation industry in protecting passengers and employees alike. 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 SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel, about 75,000 people would pass through security checkpoints every day before the pandemic decimated the travel industry.  

The airport facility offers testing and an on-site Johnson & Johnson vaccination clinic open to both travelers and workers. Further details about SFO’s COVID-19 policies can be found here

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.