Adesso, battles between cruise lines and Republican governors could offer a window into the difficulty the nation faces with the coronavirus vaccine now widely available and businesses — including tourist destinations — seeking to balance public health concerns with their efforts to return to pre-pandemic normalcy.
DeSantis and Abbott have offered no indication that they’ll back down, even as cruise operators said this week that they plan to mandate vaccines on departures from Florida and Texas this summer.
Abbott, the Texas governor who earlier this year misleadingly blamed renewable energy sources including wind and solar power as the culprits of the state’s massive power outages
, was asked by a conservative journalist Monday on Twitter for his reaction to Carnival Cruise Line’s plan to require passengers on a ship set to sail out of Galveston in July to have been vaccinated
“I’m signing a law today that prohibits any business operating in Texas from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information
,” Ha detto Abbott
, referring to Senate Bill
968, which the Republican-controlled state legislature approved this year
. “Texas is open
100% without any restrictions or limitations or requirements.
In Florida, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced Monday that it plans to resume cruises out of Miami in August — and will require all passengers to be vaccinated, defying DeSantis’ ordini.
In Aprile, DeSantis sued the CDC, seeking to allow cruises to resume unconditionally. Attualmente, the CDC requires 95% of passengers and 95% of crew members to be vaccinated in order to bypass trial sailings required by the agency on ships planning to sail with more unvaccinated passengers. A court-ordered mediation failed last week.
At a news conference last week, DeSantis said the CDC’s rules have resulted in “mothballing the (cruise) industry for 15 months.” He said the vaccine requirements would effectively prohibit families with young children who have not been eligible for the vaccine, or whose parents decide not to have them vaccinated, from taking cruises.
“We were basically saying, like honestly, just let them sail,” Ha detto DeSantis. “If we win the case, it opens up. They will all sail out of Florida. They will all do it consistent with Florida law.”
A maggio, DeSantis signed a law that would bar “passaporti vaccini” and impose a $ 5,000-per-incident fine on businesses that require proof of vaccination. At a rate of $ 5,000 per passenger, that could result in Florida seeking to levy massive fines on cruise ship operators.
Celebrity Cruises will be the first to attempt to navigate between DeSantis and the CDC, with a departure from Florida set for June 26. The company is requiring all passengers older than 16 to be vaccinated.
Other cruise operators have gone along with the Republican governors. Royal Caribbean is encouraging passengers on cruises departing from Texas and Florida to be vaccinated, but will not require them to show proof.
Norwegian, tuttavia, has for weeks insisted that it would require all passengers to be vaccinated.
“Alla fine del giorno, cruise ships have motors, propellers and rudders, and God forbid we can’t operate in the state of Florida for whatever reason, then there are other states that we do operate from, and we can operate from the Caribbean for a ship that otherwise would have gone to Florida,” CEO Frank Del Rio said on a May earnings call.
In its announcement Monday, Norwegian said vaccines will be mandatory on its August 15 cruise departing from Miami. In una dichiarazione, Del Rio praised DeSantis for pushing for the cruise industry to be allowed to resume amid the pandemic, but offered no indication the company would back down on its vaccine requirement.
“We are currently in communication with his staff and legal counsel to ensure that we can offer the safest cruise experience for our passengers departing from the cruise capital of the world,” Del Rio said in the statement.