I knew it! My friend Florida Governor Ron DeSantis probably knows that the federal government will override his ban on “Vaccine Passports!” Travel Pulse just published my quote on this topic, “I firmly believe that the CDC will be able to override Florida Governor DeSantis on the vaccine requirement,” Florida-based travel advisor Scott Lara told TravelPulse. “While I appreciate the Governor resisting so-called Vaccine Passports, we must keep cruise passengers healthy.”
Forbes.com is reporting, “Of all the politicians sounding off against so-called “vaccine passports,” none has made more headline-grabbing hay than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, champion of a law prohibiting businesses in his state from verifying the vaccination status of individuals. “In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision,” DeSantis said at the bill signing event on May 3.
The law is set to go into effect on July 1. That is extraordinarily bad timing for the restart of Florida’s $9-billion cruise industry, which has been on pause since March 2020. DeSantis signed the new law five days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had given the green light for cruise ships to begin sailing from U.S. ports this summer, as long as 98% of crew members and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated.
Now DeSantis and the CDC are locked in a legal standoff that most experts do not expect to end well for the governor. The state of Florida’s lawsuit against the CDC asked the court to declare the agency’s “conditional sail order” — the framework for restarting cruising — to be unlawful on the grounds it is unfair to the cruise industry. “The CDC arbitrarily singled out the cruise industry, and their requirements are unlawful,” said Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary, via email.
That analysis is “political buffoonery,” says Jim Walker, a maritime attorney whose Cruise Law News blog has accrued nearly 250,000 Facebook followers. Traditionally, it’s the federal government — not the state government — that has any interaction with cruise ships. “The CDC ultimately has the power to shut down a cruise ship,” he said. “To suggest that it doesn’t have jurisdiction to regulate cruise lines is just utterly preposterous to me.”
No cruise companies joined DeSantis on the lawsuit. A federal judge in Tampa sent lawyers for both sides into mediation with a deadline of June 1.”
Stay tuned for more updates and click on the links below for the full stories mentioned in this blog post: