The following article, FL Gov’s Vaccine Passport Ban Could Cancel Cruise Industry’s COVID Catchup, was first published on Flag And Cross.
While the rest of the nation is just now beginning to get back to some pseudo-normalcy in 2021, Florida has been pushing a grand reopening for months.
The Sunshine State Governor, Ron DeSantis, has been at the leading edge of coronavirus recovery over the course of the last several weeks, and has pushed back hard against continued COVID-era mandates on items such as masks and “vaccine passports”.
And while his policies have bolstered Florida’s reopening play in a big way, there is one issue piece of the DeSantis agenda that could stymy a major travel industry catalyst: Cruise lines.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is on a collision course with one of the state’s biggest industries over a law he signed banning businesses from asking customers whether they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Cruise ship operators, who sail out of Florida’s large southern ports, say the order will make it make it harder for them to safely return to the seas, possibly imperiling a major economic driver in the state.
Here is where it gets tricky:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the go-ahead Wednesday to begin work toward restarting cruises for the first time in over a year after the massive ships became some of the first superspreader locations for the coronavirus.
With populations the size of small cities packed into close quarters, cruise ships are uniquely vulnerable to viral spread. So to comply with CDC guidance and keep passengers and crew members safe, several cruise liners want to require nearly everyone onboard to be fully vaccinated.
But that could now be illegal in Florida, the center of the American cruise industry, under a law DeSantis signed this month that prohibits businesses from discriminating against unvaccinated customers.
The juggling act will need to wrap up quickly, however, as the summer season is rapidly approaching, and Americans are itching to spend their pandemic-savings somewhere. If it’s not in Florida, it’ll be somewhere else.
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