Cruise lines that operate from Florida are on a list released from the state’s Department of Health of businesses that may have broken the rules on requesting proof of vaccination for the so-called vaccine passport.
Cruise Lines Could Be Fined
Three cruise lines could be in some trouble related to Florida’s vaccine passport ban. The Orlando Sentinal reports that the Florida Department of Health released a list that features 120 cases of businesses in Florida that may have broken the vaccine passport law.
Currently, these listed cases are under review, and that includes three cruise lines. Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Disney Cruise Line are all on the list as they operate cruise ships that depart from Florida. Cruise ships operate out of four different Florida homeports, including PortMiami, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, and Port of West Palm Beach.
Governor Ron DeSantis signed the legislation to ban vaccine passports in Florida in May 2021, a month after the emergency order was issued. This means no business operating in the state can request a person to show proof of vaccination.
If a company does ask for proof, there could be a fine of up to $5,000 per violation, which could add up depending on the number of people.
Since the ban on vaccine passports has been in place and cruise ships have restarted operations from Florida, the way around the ban is for cruise passengers to show their vaccination status freely.
Depending on the cruise line, if guests don’t show that they are fully vaccinated, they may not be allowed onboard or follow sticker protocols during the cruise.
It’s not all been smooth sailing by complying with Florida’s vaccine passport law, especially when it comes to Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. On August 8, the cruise company was granted a preliminary injunction allowing to sail from Florida with 100% vaccinated passengers and crew members. However, in early October, Florida filed to appeal the injunction with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Conditional Sailing Order that was implemented in 2020 has also gone through some changes. Florida has not just been in court with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings but also the CDC, where it came out on top.
The sail order is now only a recommendation in Florida, but cruise lines still choose to follow the guidelines and requirements.
Cruise Hive will continue to keep readers updated on any new developments impacting the cruise industry.