Throughout the pandemic, the safety of our employees and guests has always come first, and we are committed to protecting our fellow employees, guests and loved ones from the impacts of the COVID-19 virus.
We believe having as many people as possible vaccinated is the best path for protection against COVID-19 and we will continue to strongly encourage our employees to be vaccinated. As of today, 75% of Alaska and Horizon employees who have shared their vaccination status are vaccinated. This is good progress, but we have more work to do. That’s why we are implementing new measures designed to increase vaccination rates and enhance our multi-layered approach to safety.
Moving forward, we will implement a testing protocol for unvaccinated employees as another layer of safety, while continuing to enforce safety protocols such as masking and distancing. We will also require all unvaccinated employees to participate in a vaccine education program and have stopped special COVID pay for unvaccinated employee absences due to exposure or infection. All new hires, effective immediately, will be required to be vaccinated before being hired at Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air. Finally, we will recognize those employees who provide proof of vaccination with a $200 payment.
And as we have throughout the pandemic, we’ll continue to adjust our safety protocols as we learn.