Maersk to require office staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19 

Danish transport giant Maersk is to introduce a requirement for its staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to be able to work from the company's offices, according to a Danish media report.

Maersk headquarters in Copenhagen. The Danish shipping company says it will require staff working at its offices to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Maersk headquarters in Copenhagen. The Danish shipping company says it will require staff working at its offices to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

Maersk CEO Søren Skou told newspaper Berlingske that Maersk will introduce the requirement “within the next three months”.

The firm is the first major Danish company to apply such a rule relating to vaccination against the coronavirus. It will also apply the policy in some of its offices in other countries but will exempt those where vaccine supply is short, according to the report.

“We have to make it as difficult as possible for those who are not vaccinated and require tests all the time. But we can’t make a global rule on this,” Skou told Berlingske.

The company, Denmark’s largest, decided to implement the requirement because the effectiveness and safety of the Covid-19 vaccines is now well known, according to Skou.

The CEO also said that Maersk would be keen to help in locations where it is harder to get staff to accept vaccination.

The decision will be implemented in compliance with local laws and trade union agreements, Maersk said in a statement given to Berlingske.

The company has over 80,000 staff in 130 countries according to its website.

Danish engineers’ trade union IDA said it does not support companies requiring on-site staff to be vaccinated.

“It’s not reasonable to demand you must be vaccinated to be able to come to work. It’s reasonable to demand you are healthy,” IDA’s chairperson Thomas Damkjær Petersen told news wire Ritzau.

“Therefore, our recommendation is that you look after yourself and your colleagues.

“And if you have symptoms of corona, you should stay home and get tested,” Petersen added.

Another trade union, Djøf, also told Ritzau it could “not accept either a test or vaccination requirement” for members and noted that Denmark does not have a law which enables employers to demand staff are vaccinated.

READ ALSO: Denmark records highest number of daily Covid-19 infections this year

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”