Beginning on July 1, a law will go into effect in Florida that will ban all companies and corporations in the state from requiring patrons to show proof that they have received their COVID-19 vaccination. This law will impose steep fines of $5,000 on those companies that try to demand proof, including what are being called “vaccine passports.” The fines will extend to cruise ships, which are not exempt when docked in The Sunshine State.
While speaking with reporters, including WKMG News 6 Orlando, DeSantis said the fines would be enforced in all aspects as stated in his Executive Order — which he signed into law on May 3.
Related: Disney Cruise Line Now Under CDC Investigation Amid COVID-19 Spread
“We are going to enforce Florida law,” DeSantis told reporters Friday at the LifeScience Logistics Distribution Center in Lakeland. “I mean, we have Florida law. We have laws that protect the people and the privacy of our citizens, and we are going to enforce it. In fact, I have no choice but to enforce it.”
While Disney Cruise Line does not currently have any ships sailing to or from the state of Florida — or any other US port — its UK Cruises will require Guests to show either a negative COVID-19 test — taken up to five days before the cruise — or proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. The Magic at Sea UK Disney cruises are set to launch this July. However, the suspension of Disney Cruise Line’s US cruise travel is only set to last through July and August for the Disney Dream, the Disney Wonder, and the Disney Fantasy.
Florida is the main hub for cruise ships in the United States, and imposing fines on these ships could set DeSantis up for a big fight over whether or not he has the right to impose those kinds of fines on a private business. Norwegian Cruise Line has already stated that they may avoid the entire state of Florida if they are told they cannot ask Guests for proof of vaccination.
At this time, Disney Cruise Line has not officially stated whether they will require Guests to show proof of vaccination when they arrive for their Disney Cruise once they resume in the US.
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