Texas Governor Signs Order to Ban Vaccine Mandates, Could it Impact Cruises?

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed an order to ban vaccine mandates, which could impact cruises. The law will allow parents to opt out of vaccines for their children without fear of repercussion and will require doctors and nurses to provide a medical exemption for all vaccines.

The texas vaccine mandate law is a new law that will go into effect in Texas on September 1st, 2018. It will ban the state from requiring vaccines for school attendance. This could have an impact on cruises, as some cruise lines are required to have certain vaccinations before boarding.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas issued an executive order this week prohibiting any business in the state from requiring workers or customers to be vaccinated. What are the ramifications of having three of the world’s largest cruise lines based in Galveston?

Cruise ships have a vaccine requirement since ports of call won’t let them in if the passengers aren’t up to date on their vaccinations. The cruise firms may find themselves in a Catch-22 situation as a result of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s actions.

They are unable to require vaccinations from their guests under Texas law, but the destinations would not let the ships to dock unless all passengers over the age of 12 have been properly vaccinated.

(Photo credit: Carrington Tatum / Shutterstock.com) Texas Governor Greg Abbott

What are the Potential Consequences for Cruise Lines?

There was a rapid reconsideration in the cruise industry when the Bahamas and the US Virgin Islands required that all adults aboard cruise ships visiting their nations be fully vaccinated.

While most cruise lines, like as Carnival Corporation, had vaccination requirements in place, some, such as Royal Caribbean Group ships departing from the United States, did not.

Carnival Vista Docked at Port of GalvestonCruise Hive provided the image.

Companies who did not have these features were permitted to sail with unvaccinated passengers because to the enhanced health and safety measures aboard. As a result of requirements from the Bahamas and other nations, most, if not all, cruise lines now require passengers to be completely vaccinated before departing.

Also see: Cruise Visitor Activities in Galveston, TX

The cruise companies are facing major challenges as a result of Texas’s prohibition on these requirements. According to the executive order (link downloads a PDF), any organization in Texas, including private companies, is prohibited from mandating vaccines for workers or customers:

“No organization in Texas has the authority to force the reception of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a customer, who opposes to the immunization for grounds of personal conscience, religious belief, or medical need, including previous recovery from COVID-19.” To the extent required to implement this ban, I now suspend all applicable laws.”

In August of this year, Texas Governor Rick Perry issued a similar executive order prohibiting cruise companies from requiring evidence of immunization. The cruise lines, according to Carnival Cruise Line, were not included in the sequence.

In a similar vein, the Port of Galveston seems unconcerned by the latest directive, stating, “We have no information suggesting any plan to alter existing cruise operations, which were authorized by the governor’s office prior to the resumption of passenger cruise operations in July.” Cruise operations are once again becoming a significant economic engine for our town, region, and state.”

Federal law takes precedence over state legislation.

Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and JPMorgan Chase are among the companies that have partnered with JPMorgan Chase. All businesses have said that they would disregard the governor’s new executive decree. The business group claims that President Biden’s federal legislation supersedes Governor Abbott’s unilateral decree.

“We think the federal vaccination requirement overrides any competing state regulations, and this has no bearing on American Airlines,” a spokesperson for the Fort Worth-based airline said.

If this is the case, the cruise lines will have a way out. When offered the option of abandoning Galveston, a major cruise port, or cutting ties with cruises to the Bahamas and the bulk of Caribbean ports, the cruise industry will choose the latter.

Carnival Cruise Ship TerminalJSvideos / Shutterstock.com / JSvideos / Shutterstock.com / JSvideos / Shutterstock

Also read: Florida’s Vaccine Passport Ban May Have Been Violation by Cruise Lines

Governor Abbott does not seem to want to lay off thousands of Texans who work at Galveston Wharves, cruise line suppliers, farmers who provide food to the ships, travel agencies who market trips from Texas, and many more.

Nonetheless, a state spokesman maintained that the prohibition applies to all entities operating in the state, and that penalties of up to $1,000 per infraction will be sought.

Experts seem to concur that the new decree is more of a political show than a legally enforceable document. As a result, the cruise sector has nothing to be concerned about:

The director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University, James Hodge, told the New York Times, “Texas has just set itself up for a big political show, but not a possibly legally valid effort to remove all vaccination requirements.” “It’s a lot more about politics than it is about legislation.”

While the hearings in Texas offer fascinating insights into the ongoing argument about vaccination requirements on cruise ships, it seems that the cruise companies will be allowed to carry on as normal for the time being. If they aren’t, the next several weeks may be very exciting.

Cruise Ship in Galveston, Texas

The carnival covid vaccine exemptions is a law that was passed in Texas. This law will allow parents to exempt their children from vaccines, if they believe the vaccine could cause autism or other health problems.

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