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Unvaccinated Delta Employees to Pay $200 Monthly Fee

A memo from CEO Ed Bastian laid out the new plan to employees.

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Delta Airlines announced Wednesday that 75% of its employees are vaccinated against COVID-19, but those who aren’t will face penalties, including a $200 monthly fee. 

Mario Tama | Getty Images

A memo from CEO Ed Bastian laid out the new plan to employees, telling staff that effective immediately, all unvaccinated Delta employees must wear a mask in indoor settings. The requirement will be in effect until community COVID-19 case rates stabilize, he said, citing the spread of the Delta variant of the virus throughout his memo. 

Beginning Sept. 12, American employees who aren’t vaccinated will be required to take a weekly COVID test as long as community case rates are high. Anyone with a positive test will be required to isolate and stay home from work. 

Related: Delta Air Lines Inks Transformative Deal With Travelport

On Nov. 1, the surcharge will begin. Unvaccinated employees enrolled in Delta’s account-based healthcare plan will pay $200 per month. Bastian noted that the average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost the company $50,000 per person, so the surcharge is “necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company.”

He also pointed out that in recent weeks, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated. 

Finally, as of Sept. 30, COVID pay protection will only be given to fully vaccinated employees who have breakthrough infections. 

“Protecting yourself, your colleagues, your loved ones and your community is fundamental to the shared values that have driven our success for nearly a century. Vaccinations are the safest, most effective, and most powerful tool we have to achieve our goals, live up to our values and move forward,” he said.

Related: Your Vacations Could Cost More Until Business Travel Returns