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SFO issues first U.S. airport vaccine mandate for all on-site personnel

San Francisco will require that all San Francisco International Airport on-site personnel, including tenants and contractors, be vaccinated under a new mandate announced by city officials Tuesday, the first of its kind at any U.S. airport.

Mayor London Breed and SFO Director Ivar Satero said the mandate is effective immediately. Breed said in a statement that vaccines are the best tool we have to reduce Covid-19 transmission, hospitalizations and deaths.

The mayor said:

“This new requirement supports our aggressive measures to protect the health and safety of our region and our continued economic recovery.”

Airport workers may be exempted by their employers for medical or religious reasons. Workers who are granted an exemption must set up a weekly Covid-19 testing and reporting regiment.

Tenants and contractors must also submit workforce vaccination status updates until all on-site staff are fully vaccinated, according to the Office of the Mayor. The airport may choose to issue fines noncompliance.

Satero said in a statement:

“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.”

The airport does offers Covid-19 testing for travelers and makes the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available at its medical clinic. Airport employees are also permitted to use these services.

White House officials announced Monday that the U.S. will relax air travel restrictions in November, allowing fully vaccinated air travelers to enter the U.S. from 33 countries.

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Ivar Satero’s name as Ivan.
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