Airlines may request passengers prove coronavirus status

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) is racing to have the first fully vaccinated crew in the commercial aviation industry.

Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung, as well as Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Phong Choon, are currently urging all employees of the country’s national carrier to register for the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccinations, with the goal of completing the vaccination of all front-line workers in the aviation and maritime industries within two months.

Those being urged to get their shots include not only the airline’s cabin crews, but also gate agents, baggage handlers and cleaning crews.

"Singapore Airlines can be the first vaccinated international airline of the world," said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung during a press conference at Changi Airport on Monday.
(Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

“Singapore Airlines can be the first vaccinated international airline of the world,” said Ong, who explained the effort as an “important step” toward reviving Singapore’s aviation industry and protecting Singapore’s seaports, during a press conference held at Changi International Airport on Monday.

“All our 37,000 front-liners, they’re defenders of our borders because the borders are a key vulnerability,” said Ong in video of the press conference shared by The Straits Times.

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Ong added that 13,000 of the 37,000 front-line workers within the aviation and maritime sectors had registered to receive their shots as of Monday. The vaccinations are currently being administered to airline industry workers at Terminal 4 of Changi International Airport, which has the capacity to vaccinate 2,000 frontline workers per day.

Similarly, up to 1,000 seaport and maritime workers can be vaccinated daily at Singapore’s Raffles City Convention Centre.

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When beginning the vaccination efforts on Monday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said that 7,000 airport and airline workers were scheduled to receive their shots by the end of the week, including those from Singapore Airlines as well as Scoot (a subsidary of SIA) and Jetstar Asia.

“Vaccination is a priority for us. We have sufficient doses to vaccinate all 20,000 frontline air crew and airport workers,” said CAAS Director-General Kevin Shum in a Jan. 18 news release. “More than 1,000 aviation workers have already received their first dose. We strongly encourage air crew and airport workers to come forward for vaccination.”

A vaccination center within Singapore’s Changi Airport has the capacity to vaccinate up to 2,000 frontline workers per day, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.
(iStock)

Singapore had previously received its first batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last month. At the time, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stressed that the vaccine would be completely voluntary for the citizens of Singapore, Reuters reported.

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As of Tuesday morning, Singapore has recorded just over 59,000 cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic, with only 29 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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