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Delta requiring weekly COVID test, $200 monthly health insurance charge for unvaccinated employees

Delta Airlines plane
Posted at 11:00 AM, Aug 25, 2021

Delta Airlines announced Wednesday that it will soon introduce a set of new policies for employees who continue to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19.

The new policies introduced Wednesday range from mask requirements to a $200 monthly surcharge on employee healthcare.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian announced the new policies an open letter to employees. The full list of new policies include:

  • Effective immediately: All unvaccinated employees are required to wear a mask in all indoor settings. "This requirement will remain in place until community case rates stabilize."
  • Effective Sept. 12: All unvaccinated U.S. employees will be required to take a weekly COVID-19 test. Those who test positive " will need to isolate and remain out of the workplace."
  • Effective Sept. 30: COVID-19 pay protection will only be provided to fully vaccinated individuals who are experiencing a breakthrough infection.
  • Effective Nov. 1: Unvaccinated employees enrolled in Delta account-based healthcare plans will be subject to a $200 monthly surcharge. "This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company," Bastian said.

"I know some of you may be taking a wait-and-see approach or waiting for full FDA approval. With this week’s announcement that the FDA has granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine, the time for you to get vaccinated is now," Bastian said in his letter. "We can be confident that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective, and has undergone the same rigorous review for other approved medications to treat cancer and heart disease, as well as other vaccines."

Delta stopped short of mandating its employees get vaccinated — a move that United Airlines took earlier this month.

In announcing its vaccine mandate, United gave employees until late October to seek out a shot, a timeline that may now be moved up because Pfizer's vaccine has received full approval from the FDA.