Florida port employees and cruise ship crew can now get vaccinated at many ports throughout Florida – a key strategy in helping restart the cruise industry which has been shuttered for 14 months. Port Canaveral was the first to launch its port worker vaccination site, with the capacity to vaccinate up to 1,000 crew members, shoreside and waterside support personnel each day. PortMiami can vaccinate up to 900 people per day.
“We have been working closely with our cruise partners, the Florida Department of Health, and our port community to come up with a plan and timeline of vaccinating cruise ship crews that could begin the process for a safe return to cruising,” said Captain John Murray, CEO of Port Canaveral.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided new guidance for cruising to restart from U.S. ports as early as mid-July. While the CDC isn’t mandating that crew or passengers be vaccinated, cruise lines that can demonstrate that 95 percent of passengers and 98 percent of crew on board are fully vaccinated will be able to resume cruises with paying passengers without having to conduct non-revenue test sailings.
However, a new law in Florida bans businesses and governments in Florida from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccinations – a law that no matter how well-intentioned, has the potential to delay cruising’s return.