After Florida, the US state of Texas has now passed a law that prohibits companies under high threat of penalties from requesting vaccination certificates from their customers. This also affects cruise lines who want to make the restart in June and July with mandatory vaccination. But solutions to the problem are emerging.
Celebrity Cruises presented a solution to the vaccination ban in Florida, which does not cover all eventualities, but is a passable way out of Governor Ron DeSantis’ rigid stance with regard to the ban. At a Webinar for travel agents Celebrity Cruises announced the following concept for embarkation:
- Passengers can voluntarily provide proof of their full vaccination or have to take a corona test on embarkation and prior to disembarkation to ensure they board healthy.
- These passengers have to pay for the PCR test and the associated measures themselves.
- On board, unvaccinated persons or passengers who do not provide evidence of their complete vaccination are subject to significantly stricter infection protection measures, in particular a strict mask requirement even outdoors (which, by the way, does not apply to unvaccinated children under 16).
- Even when going ashore, unvaccinated people will presumably be at a disadvantage, because some destinations will only let passengers on land that have been proven to be vaccinated, or at least let them on land individually.
In fact, Celebrity Cruises apparently wants to deter unvaccinated people with significant restrictions and additional costs so far that they do not even want to take the cruises of the Celebrity Edge (from June 26th from Fort Lauderdale) and Celebrity Equinox (from July 25th from Fort Lauderdale) book.
It is only unclear how Celebrity Cruises will ensure that the quota of at least 95 percent vaccinated on board is reliably adhered to. Because this is a prerequisite for meeting the requirements of the US health authorities to be allowed to carry out cruises without prior test drives. Celebrity Cruises has not planned test drives for the Celebrity Edge.
Carnival Cruise Line has not yet explained its plans. The shipping company also wants to start with a ship, the Carnival Horizon, on July 4th from Miami and has announced a mandatory vaccination.
Texas prohibits companies from asking for proof of vaccination
Carnival Cruise Line could be affected by a new law in the US state of Texas for two ships. The Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze are scheduled to depart from Galveston on July 3rd and 15th, respectively.
Now, however, Texas has passed a law similar to that in Florida forbidding companies to request proof of vaccination from their customers – which would be a prerequisite if Carnival Cruise Line wanted to enforce its announced mandatory vaccination for these cruises and not postpone the start dates. to go through the CDC’s approval process for test cruises beforehand.
Unlike Florida, Texas law may leave a loophole for cruising. It provides for an exception to the ban if a company implements its infection protection concept on the basis of a regulation by a federal authority.
Since the infection protection concept and the approval for the cruises of the Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze are based on the Conditional Sailing Order of the federal authority CDC, this exception could apply. Carnival Cruise Line said it was currently in the legal examination of the situation.
The situation is complicated by the fact that Florida, Texas and Alaska are also pending lawsuits against the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order. In the unlikely event that the Conditional Sailing Order would be declared ineffective in these proceedings, the legal basis for the exception from Texas law with regard to vaccination certificates would also be omitted. The lawsuit against the CDC will continue to be negotiated on June 10th.