Virgin Australia has announced today that it intends to mandate vaccinations against COVID-19 for all staff, just days after Qantas stated it will do the same.

Virgin is commencing consultation with unions and employees about implementing this policy. It is currently proposed that all frontline team members be vaccinated by 15 November 2021 and all office-based team members by 31 March 2022. That’s the same timeline that Qantas has stipulated.

Staff with medical issues that can be substantiated will be managed on a case-by-case basis.

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said that recent events have demonstrated that it only takes one person to create a knock-on effect which creates significant impacts for employees and the community more broadly.

“Virgin Australia is not alone as a business in being deeply affected by the events of recent months. It is clear that vaccination is the only way back to normal freedom of movement and the richness in life that comes from spending meaningful, in person time with family, friends and colleagues.

“Vaccination is the only solution to the situation Australia currently finds itself in, and something we have determined is vital to keep our team safe, given the high public exposure most of them encounter day to day.

“We know that some team members have questions and concerns about vaccinations.  Through an internal campaign of education with qualified experts, we aim to inform and assure as many of our team members as possible.

“We trust medical experts, their advice and the evidence that shows that vaccines save lives and reduce hospitalisation rates.”

Virgin Australia has also flagged that it will launch a competition this week to encourage Australians to get vaccinated. Qantas has already announced it is giving vaccinated customers free points, status credits and flight vouchers, and is also running a competition.

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