Who's calling the shots?

Gov. Abbott Bans Vaccine Passports in Texas

Cruise line Carnival will require proof of vaccination on its ships; not so fast, says the governor.

By Catherine Wendlandt June 7, 2021

For a little over a month, two cruise ships—the Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista—have been floating in the Port of Galveston. Today, the cruise line giant, which has been docked for more than a year because of Covid-19, announced that the ships are finally setting sail—the Breeze on July 1 and Vista on July 15. 

Because the large crowd of families on board, the ships will require proof of vaccination, with folks’ second dose occurring at least 14 days before the cruise. 

Or will they? 

When asked on Twitter about Carnival, Governor Greg Abbott announced today that he’s signing a bill— Senate Bill 968—that will prohibit any businesses operating in Texas from requiring proof of vaccination, or vaccine passports. 

“Texas is open 100% without any restrictions or limitations or requirements,” he tweeted. 

Earlier this year on April 6, the governor signed an executive order that prohibits state agencies, as well as public and private entities that receive state funding, from requiring people to show proof of Covid-19 vaccinations before they can enter a premises or receive a service.

“But as I said all along, these vaccines are always necessary and never forced,” said Abbott in a video message on Twitter at the time. “Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives.” 

Vaccine passports, or proof of vaccinations, have sparked debates across the state and the country. While the federal government has not officially announced a national vaccine passport system, several states, such as Arizona, Florida, and Montana, have preemptively banned them. 

Now that list includes Texas, but a question remains about what these cruises will do if destination cities or countries require proof of vaccination. That's right—along with just about everything concerning Covid-19 and public limitations ... it's a little messy.

To learn where many countries stand on vaccine requirements for visitors, click here.

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