Carnival Cruise Line recently announced that it will resume cruising in Galveston, Texas beginning in July and will require passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is disputing Carnival’s vaccine mandate.
Abbott announced Monday he would be signing a law that prevents “businesses operating in Texas from requiring vaccine passports any vaccine information.”
“Texas is open 100% without any restrictions or limitations or requirements,” Abbott tweeted.
I’m signing a law today that prohibits any business operating in Texas from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information.
Texas is open 100% without any restrictions or limitations or requirements. https://t.co/ukPxNQ2pAt
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 7, 2021
Abbott did not provide any other details about the law and his office simply pointed The Federalist back to his tweet.
In April, Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting the government from mandating “vaccine passports” in the state while the COVID-19 vaccine is still under emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. He also banned any “public or private entity” that receives government funding, such as loans, grants, and contracts, from withholding service or entry to Texans who do not have proof that they received a COVID-19 vaccine.
Carnival Cruise Line, however, did not shy away from operating in the state after “progress and support for our U.S. restart from the CDC and other key federal agencies.”
“The current CDC requirements for cruising with a guest base that is unvaccinated will make it very difficult to deliver the experience our guests expect, especially given the large number of families with younger children who sail with us,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, announced on Monday shortly before Abbott’s tweet. “As a result, our alternative is to operate our ships from the U.S. during the month of July with vaccinated guests.”
Carnival did not immediately respond to The Federalist’s comment.
Abbott’s decision to crack down on businesses follows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ crusade against vaccine passports which began in April. Since issuing an executive order banning government and businesses from mandating vaccine documentation in exchange for goods and services, DeSantis has been embroiled in a fight with the state’s cruise industry and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over regulations requiring passengers to be vaccinated.
“We’re challenging the authority of the CDC to be involved to this extent,” DeSantis said last week. “The problem is the CDC, the problem is not Florida.”
Over the last few months, Abbott has followed in DeSantis’s footsteps signing legislation combatting Big Tech, issuing executive orders lifting mask mandates, and pledging to crack down on loose voting laws.
Former President Donald Trump recently endorsed Abbott for re-election in Texas. According to Trump, “no governor has done more to secure the Border and keep our communities safe than Governor Abbott” and Abbott “will never let you down.”