Cruise Line Threatens To Quit Florida Over Vaccine Passport Ban

 A Norwegian cruise company is threatening to boycott Florida unless the state rolls back regulations banning requirements that people show proof of vaccination before using a business or service.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio said during an earnings call on Thursday that he would stop sending cruise ships through Florida unless the state allowed companies to bar people based on whether or not they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Del Rio’s threat came days after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) signed legislation barring the state and local governments and businesses from requiring so-called vaccine passports.

“At the end of the day, cruise ships have motors, propellers and rudders, and God forbid we can’t operate in the state of Florida for whatever reason, then there are other states that we do operate from. And we can operate from the Caribbean for ships that otherwise would’ve gone to Florida,” Del Rio said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Del Rio said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings – which operates Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas – would hold to its promise that once operations restart, every passenger and crew member on board will be vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Monday, DeSantis signed legislation passed by the Florida legislature banning vaccine passports in Florida. The legislation goes into effect on July 1.

DeSantis announced his opposition to vaccine passports in March before signing an executive order banning the practice in Florida until the legislature could craft a bill banning vaccine passports in the state permanently. As The Daily Wire reported:

“It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply participate in normal society,” the Republican said. “You want to go to a movie theater, should you have to show that? No. You want to go to a game, a theme park? No. So we’re not supportive of that.”

“We always said we wanted to provide it for all but mandate it for none,” DeSantis said at a press conference on Monday. “And that was something that, while it was advised to take particularly if you’re vulnerable, we were not going to force you to do it.”

The governor, often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2024, said Americans should be able to make their own health decisions, and he voiced concerns over privacy.

“You’re going to do this and, what, give all this information to some big corporation? You want the fox to guard the hen house? I mean give me a break,” the governor said. “I think this is something that has huge privacy implications. It is not necessary to do.”

A handful of states led by Republican governors have followed suit and banned vaccine passports. On April 6, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced his administration would also ban such requirements in his state.

“Every day, Texans return to normalcy as more people get the COVID vaccine. In fact, this week, Texas will surpass 13 million doses administered,” Abbott said. “Those shots help slow the spread of COVID, reduce hospitalizations, and reduce fatalities.”

“But, as I have said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced. Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,” he added. “That is why I issued an executive order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas. We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”

Powered by Blogger.