Cruise Line threatens to skip Florida harbor over vaccination ban

Norwegian Cruise Line has threatened to move ships away from Florida ports after enacting state legislation prohibiting companies from requiring proof of vaccination against Covid-19 in exchange for services.

The company, which plans to make its first cruise in the Caribbean and Europe available this summer and fall, offers limited capacity travel and All guests and crew to be vaccinated Book at least until the end of October.

At a quarterly earnings briefing Thursday, Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Frank Del Rio said the issue had been discussed with Florida Governor Republican Ron de Santis. Del Rio said the cruise line could operate from other states and the Caribbean if it had to skip Florida’s ports.

“We certainly want that to happen,” said Del Rio. “Everyone wants to work outside Florida. It’s a very lucrative market.”

The Norwegian Cruise Line-Florida clash is one of the many that is likely to surface how states and businesses deal with the need for vaccination proof. Some states have not yet taken a position on businesses that require vaccines, while others have already implemented such protocols.

At many events in New York Major league baseball etc. In addition, National Basketball Association games and state health and safety guidelines require fans to prove that they are negative for vaccination or coronavirus testing within 72 hours of attendance.

“I hope this doesn’t become legal or political football,” Del Rio said on the phone.

Norwegian Cruise Line is headquartered in Florida along with Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Corporation. According to 2019, about 60% of all US cruise ships came from Florida ports. Economic analysis It was prepared for the Cruise Lines International Association last year.

so Thursday business updateNorwegian Cruise Line said it is experiencing “strong future demand” with bookings in the first half of 2022, which are “significantly ahead” of bookings in 2019. By the end of the first quarter of 2021, the company said it had $ 1.3 billion in advance ticket sales.

In addition to prohibiting businesses from requiring proof of vaccination, Florida law may also close businesses or schools for direct learning by state and local governments unless there is a hurricane emergency. It is prohibited.

“I refused to take the same approach as any other blockade governor,” said Desantis. Monday statement When he signed the bill. “In Florida, your personal choices regarding vaccination are protected and businesses and government agencies cannot deny your service based on your decision.”

His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday, and Norwegian Cruise Line was unable to contact for comment.

“We hope everyone is heading in the same direction, which means we want to resume cruising in a safe way, especially first,” Del Rio said in a statement. “The situation can be different than it is six months or a year from now.”

The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is how cruise ships can carry out “simulated voyages” with volunteer passengers and allow cruise lines to safely resume operations by means such as testing and potential quarantine. Can be confirmed.

The CDC will need a cruise line to complete the test run before being allowed to sail with passengers this summer.

“Cruising cannot be a zero-risk activity for the Covid-19 epidemic,” the CDC said. Said this week.. “Cruising always poses a risk of Covid-19 infection, but the CDC promises to ensure that cruise ship passenger operations are carried out in a way that protects crew, passengers, and port personnel. . “

The latest guidance recommends, but is not required, for cruise line travelers and crew to be vaccinated when they are available.

In this week’s earnings announcement, Del Rio said Norwegian Cruise Line had submitted a proposal to the CDC that included requesting proof of vaccine from all crew and passengers.

It is unclear how much business the Norwegian Cruise Line could lose by avoiding the Florida harbor. Of the dozens of ports listed on the website, Norwegian Cruise Line lists the ports of Florida. Tampa, Miami And Key West..

Del Rio said the “stagnation of demand” helped fill reservations quickly.

“I believe it is the number one destination for Americans to the Caribbean,” said Del Rio. “Do you know? It will never return to US waters, as the ship may prove to be very useful there.”

Cruise Line threatens to skip Florida harbor over vaccination ban

Source link Cruise Line threatens to skip Florida harbor over vaccination ban

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