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Southwest Airlines (LUV) Mandates COVID-19 Vaccines for Staff

Southwest Airlines (LUV) requires all its employees to be either fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or be approved for an exemption on religious, medical, or disability grounds by Dec 8.

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Southwest Airlines LUV has mandated COVID-19 vaccines for all its employees by Dec 8, 2021, in compliance with President Biden’s vaccination directive for federal contractors.

Last month, the Biden administration said that federal contractors must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec 8. Major U.S. airlines have a number of federal contracts and fall under this category.

Southwest Airlines announced that its contracts with the U.S. government require the company to fully comply with the federal vaccination directive. The company informed that its employees need to be either fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or be approved for an exemption on religious, medical, or disability grounds, to continue employment with the carrier.

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Southwest Airlines’ chairman and CEO, Gary Kelly said, “Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers in complying with the federal government's COVID-19 vaccination directive.”

Last week, Alaska Airlines, the subsidiary of Alaska Air Group, JetBlue Airways and American Airlines AAL mandated vaccines for their staff to comply with the federal rules.

United Airlines UAL was the first airline to mandate coronavirus vaccines for its employees in August. More than 99% of the airline’s employees are now vaccinated.

Delta Air Lines DAL is yet to announce vaccine mandates for its employees. The company said that it is evaluating federal rules in this regard. It is, however, indirectly trying to persuade employees to get vaccinated. Beginning next month, the airline is set to add a monthly surcharge of $200 on healthcare plans of unvaccinated employees.

Each of the stocks mentioned above carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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