Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida is not taking no for an answer. On May 3, this Republican governor signed legislation that would ban vaccine passports in the Sunshine State.
Upon finishing his signing, the governor said, “In our state, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be fully protected, and that means no business or government entity is going to be able to deny any of the basic services based on your decision.
According to the Miami Herald, the new law enforces entities such as schools, companies, and other organizations to still give you services regardless of whatever your decision might be in regards to the vaccine. This Florida vaccine passport law will go into effect on July 1.
Royal Caribbean International, a company that operates several cruises throughout different ports in Florida, announced last month that it was going to begin doing cruises again one day after the new Florida law goes into effect on July 1st.
One of the requirements of the Celebrity Cruise Line is that all new participants are to be vaccinated, and this obviously runs afoul of the new law passed by Governor DeSantis.
One of the main arguments of Royal Caribbean is that since such large numbers of people are confined to a small space on cruises anyway, they should be allowed an exception to this new law.
However, DeSantis refused to back down. At a news conference on May 28, he told reporters, “We are going to continue to enforce Florida law. You don’t say ‘pass laws’ and then bend down to giant corporations. It doesn’t work that way,” according to WPLG-TV.
On Friday, the cruise line finally gave in and handed the governor a big win. They agreed to comply with the law, issuing a new statement that said the following: “Guests are now strongly recommended to set sail completely and fully vaccinated if they are eligible.” The Caribbean statement concluded with “Those who are unvaccinated or not able to verify their vaccination will be asked to undergo other protocols and follow some testing measures announced at a later date.” However, this is definitely an about-face from the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, make no bones about it.
According to the Herald, all of the crew members on the Celebrity Cruise Line have been vaccinated as well.
Although Celebrity Cruises still require all passengers aged 16 and older to be vaccinated, they said the following: “Where local government regulations differ, we will continue to comply with local requirements.”
The Herald also reported that the company is still planning on maintaining its vaccination requirement on its seven-night Caribbean cruise adventure from Port Everglades.
While that should be OK for their plans to sail off on June 26th, after July 1, all bets are off. Either way, it’s probably not a good idea to underestimate DeSantis. In fact, Celebrity might quickly discover just how expensive this brainstorm truly is.
What do you think about Governor DeSantis standing up to big corporations regarding their vaccination mandates? Comment below.