Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has appeared to secure a victory in his state following his promise to ban the use of vaccine passports in the Sunshine State, as Royal Caribbean will not require passengers sailing out of Florida to provide proof of vaccination.
Earlier this month, DeSantis blasted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for effectively mandating a vaccine passport for the cruise industry, which he described as “discriminatory” as there are “100 million-plus Americans who have recovered from COVID [the Chinese coronavirus].”
“They have immunity. Many of them are not getting vaccinated because they’re already immune. So we don’t believe that that’s good policy to allow that,” he said following the news of cruise liners requiring passengers to show proof of vaccination prior to sailing, which would violate Florida’s law banning vaccine passports, which goes into effect July 1st.
“These cruise lines will abide by Florida law. I know a couple of them have tried to say — trust me, they will abide by Florida law. They have the ability to do it,” he told Breitbart News, promising they will “absolutely cruise from Florida.”
“You can bet your bottom dollar on that,” he said.
That appears to be the case, as Royal Caribbean will not force passengers to show proof of vaccination prior to setting sail from Florida, home to some of the busiest ports in the country.
Per Royal Caribbean’s press release:
For cruises departing from all U.S. ports (except Florida ports), Royal Caribbean requires all guests 16 years of age or older to be fully vaccinated, and from Aug. 1, all guests 12 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated. Younger travelers not yet eligible for the vaccine will be able to sail with a negative test result and must follow certain protocols.
On cruises departing from Florida ports, all guests are strongly recommended to be fully vaccinated. Based on our guest survey’s, we expect 90% of all our guests to be fully vaccinated. Guests eligible but not fully vaccinated or able to show proof of vaccination will be subject to testing and additional health protocols at their own expense. Children not eligible for vaccines will be subject to complimentary testing and health protocols.
Last week, Florida’s lawsuit against the CDC over its mandates over the cruise industry reached an impasse, as U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli wrote, “Despite the party’s good faith and concerted efforts, the settlement discussions have concluded and the parties have reached an impasse.”
In that same interview, DeSantis emphasized to Breitbart News that it is the CDC, not necessarily the cruise industry, that is causing the issues.
“Just understand. If the CDC would take their boot off the necks of the industry, they would sail from Florida. This is not as much a disagreement between Florida and the cruise lines as it is between [the] CDC,” the governor said at the time. “So cruise lines are kind of caught in the middle, because [the] CDC has issued all these mandates saying, ‘OK, you can finally sail, but you got to do all this stuff.’ So they’re in the position where they have the feds coming down on them and saying they have to do it one way.”
Notably, two passengers aboard a “fully vaccinated” Celebrity Cruises ship, Celebrity Millenium, tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus, the liner announced last week.