Written by Staff Writer
Singapore Airlines will be the first airline to introduce mandatory vaccination requirements for its cabin crew to mitigate the risk of norovirus infection as part of new measures introduced following the recent outbreak of the disease.
SIA will introduce the requirements starting from 1 July 2019 in the aim of protecting its customers and cabin crew from the disease, an airborne virus, in and on board the aircraft.
The move comes after a number of instances of the “very contagious” disease recently hit the airline and other carriers, according to a Singapore Airlines statement issued in May.
On Monday, Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Goh Choon Phong told AFP : “When there’s a disease outbreak, we had advised our cabin crew to take extra precaution to take vaccination. But I think given the measures taken by most airlines to ensure their safety, we said, ‘We’ve seen these measures taken by many airlines and this is a well-known disease and we might have to impose these measures also’.”
Singapore Airlines has a fleet of 16 aircraft — 14 Boeing 777-300ERs and three Airbus A380s — where the virus is likely to hit most hard.
Currently, the carrier has a non-binding agreement with the Ministry of Health to participate in its annual campaign to vaccinate individuals against norovirus in a phased approach for the carrier’s flightcrew in a period of six months after June 2019.
Pregnant women, infirm and people with gastroenteritis will be exempted from vaccination until mid-2019. As well as extra vaccination, Singapore Airlines will also require affected members of its staff to undergo intensive cleaning by commercial cleaning agents.
Passengers will also be notified in advance about safety measures and follow protocols for contacting medical services on board the flight.
Singapore Airlines follows Emirates in choosing to vaccinate crew