Not Real News

On Friday, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly claiming that employees refused to show up to work at five of Denver International Airport’s restaurants because of a supposed COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

CLAIM: The owner of five restaurants in Terminal C at Denver International Airport told employees they needed to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by Nov. 1 or they would be fired. None of the cooks, dishwashers, bussers or hosts showed up to work, so there were no restaurants open in Terminal C. The owner immediately sent an email reversing the vaccine mandate.

THE FACTS: Social media users this week are baselessly claiming that restaurant employees at Denver’s airport reversed a vaccine mandate by not showing up to work. “Denver airport,” read a tweet shared more than 5,000 times on Thursday. “The owner of 5 restaurants in C terminal made a Nov. 1 mandate or get fired. None of the cooks, dishwashers, bussers, & hosts showed up to work. So there were no restaurants open in C Terminal. He immediately sent an email reversing mandate.”

The message in the tweet, which was later deleted, circulated widely on Twitter, Facebook and the messaging app Telegram, despite offering no specifics or evidence that the incident occurred. In fact, it didn’t happen, according to Alex Renteria, public information officer for the Denver International Airport.

“We have not had any concession employee strike, nor have any restaurants on Concourse C been closed other than their normal hours of operation,” Renteria said “We can confirm this is false information.”

Earlier this month, Denver airport janitors staged a one-day strike for higher pay, according to local news reports. And security officials told a local TV station this week they had voted to strike for the same reason. These job actions didn’t appear to be related to any vaccine requirements.

There is no airport-wide vaccine mandate, Renteria said, and companies with retail stores in the airport decide individually whether to require their employees to get vaccinated. Three different companies that appear to own restaurants in Concourse C of the Denver airport – Tastes on the Fly, Paradies Lagardère and Edible Beats – did not respond to emailed requests for comment on their vaccination policies.