Despite increasing pressure from cruise companies, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday that he will not overturn his state’s ban on COVID-19 vaccine passports.
At the beginning of April, DeSantis signed an executive order designating that vaccine passports are not required by law. The order from DeSantis also said that “vaccination records are private health information” and cannot be shared by mandate.
DeSantis has been vocally critical of vaccine passports since their inception, arguing that requiring individuals to present proof of their vaccination to participate in activities would create a ‘two-tiered’ society, granting more rights to people that have been vaccinated and denying others of engaging in their community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently mandated that 95% of cruise passengers and 98% of crew members must be vaccinated for cruises to restart operations.
“The problem is the CDC. The problem is not Florida,” DeSantis said. “Oh, by the way, if you’re sunbathing you have to make sure they’re wearing a mask while they’re sunbathing.’ Are you kidding me? That is an absolute farce. So, we’re challenging the authority of the CDC to be involved to this extent.”
In the wake of DeSantis’ stance on vaccine passports, some cruise companies have threatened to pull their ships out of Florida.
“We are the number one destination for people who want to come and take cruises,” Gov. DeSantis said. “These cruise lines are ready to go, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, they want to go, they’re going to be able to do it. We’re ready.”