In a quest to fight the spread of COVID-19 and have its employees become fully vaccinated, Delta Air Lines Inc. plans to require weekly testing for unvaccinated employees and charge them a $200 monthly health insurance fee, according to a Wednesday (Aug. 25) Wall Street Journal report.
Beginning Sept. 12, Delta workers in the U.S. who have not been vaccinated will be required to have a weekly COVID-19 test during times when community cases of the coronavirus are high, according to the report. Starting in November, unvaccinated employees enrolled in the airline’s healthcare plan will be required to pay an additional $200 per month, the news outlet reported.
Amid the continued spread of the Delta variant of COVID, more and more companies are mandating employee vaccinations. Roughly half of the firms polled in a recent PYMNTS survey require their employees to get vaccinated. Of the respondents, 37 percent require all workers to get vaccinated and 11 percent require some staff to get the vaccine.
PYMNTS data also demonstrated that larger companies were more likely to mandate vaccination for at least some employees. Sixty-two percent of the largest employers require vaccinations, while approximately 38 percent of the smallest companies do.
According to Macrotrends, the airline employed 74,000 in 2020 and had just over $17 billion in revenues for 2020, a drop of more than 63 percent as compared to 2019. The PYMNTS study determined that more than 90 percent of companies with annual revenues ranging from $2.5 million to $10 million had a vaccine policy in place.
Delta is not the only airline to require employee vaccinations. Earlier this month, United Airlines announced it would require its 68,000 employees to get vaccinated by this fall, according to PYMNTS.
Airlines are struggling to rebound from the pandemic. In May demand for air travel was down more than 60 percent compared to May 2019, according to PYMNTS. However, that rate was an increase over the roughly 65 percent drop in April 2021 compared to April 2019.