Patterico's Pontifications


Florida Businesses Prohibited From Requiring Patrons To Provide Documentation of Covid-19 Vaccination

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:21 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Even before the pandemic, you wouldn’t find me on a cruise ship. Now, “vacationing” on a giant floating petri dish where there is no requirement for proof of Covid-19 vaccination makes it even a harder pass for me:

Florida and cruise companies could be locked in a battle over vaccine requirements as the state puts a ban on vaccine passports while cruise lines continue to mandate the jabs for passengers and crew.

On April 2, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order banning vaccine passports and local businesses from requiring this proof of vaccination. This ban applies to cruise lines as well…

“The Governor’s Executive Order provides that businesses in Florida are prohibited from requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business,” McCloud told Insider in an email. “Therefore, the Executive Order prohibits cruise lines from requiring vaccine passports for their Florida operations.”

The CDC lists the most common causes for visits to a ship’s medical center:

Approximately 3%–11% of conditions reported to cruise ship medical centers are urgent or an emergency. Approximately 95% of illnesses are treated or managed onboard, and 5% require evacuation and shoreside consultation for medical, surgical, or dental problems. Roughly half of passengers who seek medical care are older than 65 years of age. Most medical center visits are due to acute illnesses, of which respiratory illnesses (19%–29%); seasickness (10%–25%); injuries from slips, trips, or falls (12%–18%); and gastrointestinal (GI) illness (9%–10%) are the most frequently reported diagnoses. Death rates for cruise ship passengers, most often from cardiovascular events, range from 0.6 to 9.8 deaths per million passenger-nights.

The most frequently reported cruise ship outbreaks involve respiratory infections, GI infections (such as norovirus), and vaccine-preventable diseases other than influenza, such as varicella (chickenpox). To reduce the risk of onboard introduction of communicable diseases by embarking passengers, ships may conduct medical screening during embarkation to identify ill passengers, preventing them from boarding or requiring isolation if they are allowed to board.

And specifically, Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPDs):

Although most cruise ship passengers are from countries with routine vaccination programs (such as the United States and Canada), many crew members originate from developing countries with low immunization rates. Outbreaks of measles, rubella, meningococcal disease and, most commonly, varicella, have been reported on cruise ships. Preventive measures to reduce the spread of VPDs onboard cruise ships should be followed:

All passengers should be up-to-date with routine vaccinations before travel, as well as any required or recommended vaccinations specific for their destinations…

Crew members should have documented proof of immunity to VPDs

Some cruise lines have already announced their plans to protect crew and guests:

Part of Norwegian Cruise Lines Holding’s return to sailing plan includes a sweeping COVID-19 vaccine mandate for both guests and crew aboard Norwegian’s three brands: Norwegian, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas. The ships will also initially operate at a reduced capacity, and will implement several other health protocols to create a “safe, ‘bubble-like’ environment.”

Silversea Cruises became the second major cruise line to announce it will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all passengers when it resumes global itineraries on June 5.

Meanwhile, Gov. DeSantis is facing questions about whether he has the authority to impose the ban:

The Coast Guard and the CDC have asserted control over pandemic-related cruise line activity at the port, but most decisions have been made by a “unified command” that includes the state, federal and county governments, working with the cruise lines, said Ellen Kennedy, spokeswoman for Port Everglades.

Asked about DeSantis’ assertion, Port Director Jonathan Daniels said by email: “We are working with the cruise lines and through all local, state and federal regulations and guidelines to effect a safe restart to cruising.”

…Jim Walker – an attorney based in South Florida with a specialization in maritime law – who told the Sun Sentinel that DeSantis may not have the jurisdiction needed to either prohibit cruise lines from enforcing a vaccine mandate or bring cruises back.

Here is a report about different cruise lines and their current position on requiring ( or not requiring) proof of Covid-19 vaccinations.

I’ll leave you with a little trip down memory lane:

There is little doubt among experts that the handling of the virus on board the Diamond Princess was an abject failure from the onset. Simply put by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the (US) National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, “…it failed”[8].

Despite this acknowledgment, there is still no clear answer on who should be in charge in future situations that mimic this one. The Japanese government and the Diamond Princess corporate leadership disagreed from the beginning about who was in charge. At the time, the Japanese officials feared bringing potentially infected passengers onshore, since there was no clear place to quarantine everyone. And, they did not want the virus to spread throughout Japan.

After 39 days on the ship (and over three weeks in quarantine) the last of the 2,666 passengers finally disembarked and began their journeys home on February 27th; only to reset the clock and begin an additional two-week quarantine in their home countries. However, the ship remained docked in Japan for another three months while the company focused its efforts on quarantining and repatriating the remaining crew members who had not yet departed on government charter flights[9].


21 Responses to “Florida Businesses Prohibited From Requiring Patrons To Provide Documentation of Covid-19 Vaccination”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. Considering how badly DeSantis wants to have cruise ships operate at pre-CV levels, maybe he should exempt host port communities or communities up to 6 miles inland from the exec order.

    urbanleftbehind (56f0af)

  3. Senators Introduce Bill Allowing To Restart Cruising by July 4
    Three U.S. Senators have introduced an act set to revoke the CDC’s current Conditional Sail Order on cruises and require the CDC to provide COVID-19 mitigation guidance for cruise lines to resume safe domestic operations.
    The bill – initiated by Senator (Rick) Scott, along with a fellow Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, as well as Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska – stipulates allowing voyages to restart as soon as July 4, 2021.
    According to the statement, the CRUISE Act requires the CDC to issue recommendations for how to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 to passengers and crew onboard cruise ships and establishes an interagency “Working Group” that will develop recommendations to facilitate the resumption of passenger cruise ship operations in the United States.
    The Act also requires the CDC to revoke the order entitled “Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew” no later than July 4. It also ensures that HHS and CDC retain all appropriate authorities to make and enforce regulations necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases on any individual cruise ship.
    Not surprising, but has absolutely no chance of passing into law.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. When will cruise ships resume sailing? A line-by-line guide
    [S]everal major lines — including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Crystal Cruises — finally have announced definitive plans to restart North America cruising in June or July. In each case, they have found ports outside of the U.S. such as Nassau in the Bahamas that they can use as a base for their ships.

    The lines have had to find new home ports for North American sailings because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently is blocking cruise operators from sailing from U.S. ports — something that is now the subject of a lawsuit by the state of Florida.

    But even if the CDC reverses its ban on cruises, cruising in North America isn’t expected to come back in a significant way for many months. As of right now, most cruise lines have canceled all or most sailings in North America through at least the end of June, and some lines have canceled at least some departures in North America even further into the year.
    Here’s a look at when major river, ocean and expedition cruise brands that market to North Americans say they’ll resume operations:

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  5. I am beginning to this phenomena from 2019 was a precursor of, even a dry run for COVID. At the very least, a lot of the victims seemed to be from the northeast, lower income strata, obese, and with underlying comorbidities, similar to the victim profile in the first wave of COVID in the U.S. –

    urbanleftbehind (56f0af)

  6. I’m less bothered that Carlson says outrageous and false things, and more bothered that millions of Americans are purposely clicking to his show.

    Paul Montagu (26e0d1)

  7. Ack. Wrong thread.

    Paul Montagu (26e0d1)

  8. makes it even a harder pass for me:

    I’ll bite because I keep seeing this; can someone help me understand why proof that someone else got the vaccine would make you feel better about being at an event with them? Either you have the vaccine or you don’t. The vaccine isn’t like masks which reduce exposure. The vaccine in someone else doesn’t eliminate your exposure risk to someone who can transmit the virus. Even if 100% of the people on the boat had the vaccine it can still be transmitted and there is some risk of exposure. And that risk isn’t slight. From what I can find we don’t know what the numbers on this are.

    Again, I’m just looking for what information vaccination gives to you personally. At scale other statistics and effects come into play but how does it help you make a rational personal risk assessment?

    frosty (f27e97)

  9. And he has incidentally banned me from Florida. It is as bad as having government require them, which he is probably forcing the feds to do.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. This will also mess up any number of studies on the efficacy of vaccines against Covid, since cruise whips are wonderfully closed environments. But you need to know who’s been vaccinated.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. I’ll bite because I keep seeing this; can someone help me understand why proof that someone else got the vaccine would make you feel better about being at an event with them?

    If Johnny plants an apple seed and a rabbit eats the seedling as soon as it sprouts, how many apples will Johnny give Jane?

    nk (1d9030)

  12. What ever happened to the GOP’s adherence to individual liberty and allowing people to do what they pleased with their own property?

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  13. Frosty, long time to talk.

    Here’s a link to details on each vaccine.

    Most of them reduce your risk to about 1 in 10. Some are worse; 1 in 4, and some are better; 1 in 20.
    None of them last forever.

    So there’s some risk if you’re around infected people even if you’ve been vaccinated. The real advantage is herd immunity when a large number of people get the vaccine and the disease dies out in the area.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  14. I’m with you, Dana. I wouldn’t get on a cruise ship if you paid me. Even before the pandemic, there were disease outbreaks on multiple cruise ships every year.

    I do have a cousin who takes a cruise every year, has for over thirty years. It’s her idea of a vacation, different destinations each voyage. She’s been all around the Gulf and Caribbean. I told her she was insane, because there’s nothing worse than being stuck on a ship with an infectious disease at sea. You can’t get off the ship!

    But it’s not just disease outbreaks you have to worry about. A couple of years ago my mother’s assistant, her husband and daughter took a cruise from Houston to New Orleans. Should have been a three day vacation, and what happened? Hurricane Harvey. The ship couldn’t dock when they got to New Orleans or return to Houston. They were stuck on board for ten days. Ship policy was that passengers could disembark and seek an alternative means of transportation to return home, but wouldn’t be allowed back on the ship. Talk about a failed vacation, with lost work and lost wages.

    That said, DeSantis is an idiot.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  15. No, Florida Governor is stupid like a fox. He knows he has no maritime jurisdiction. He’ll be able to go out and tell Florida Man “I stood up up for freedom, justice, and shuffleboard, but the Biden administration overruled me”.

    nk (1d9030)

  16. I’d still argue that mandating some sort of vaccine passport is pants on asinine.

    I’m fine with it being mandated for employment. But I’m against a publicly tiered segregation of the “non-vaccinated” vs. “vaccinated”.

    At this point, if you’re really that concerned, no one is forcing you to leave your own house.

    whembly (ae0eb5)

  17. I’m glad to see this action. This past year there were 77 cases of norovirus from August 2020 to March 2021. The previous year there were 965 cases in the same period. These numbers are from the CDC. We must protect the norovirus from the disappearance of its natural habitat. The virus is threatened with extinction otherwise.

    Fred (d109df)

  18. @16: Is outlawing them any better? Maybe this is something that government doesn’t need to mandate. If they want to get involved, it should be as a standards body, not as the police.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. @18

    @16: Is outlawing them any better? Maybe this is something that government doesn’t need to mandate. If they want to get involved, it should be as a standards body, not as the police.

    Besides the inherent privacy issues of such systems, as well as such a system that could easily be gamed.

    A “vaccine passport” would only measure a paper compliance, but not actual immunity or protection. In the end, such a system would be nothing more than theater.

    whembly (ae0eb5)

  20. I’ve been on over a dozen cruises. They are perfect for me to just relax and have the floating hotel take me to different places. I’ve never once gotten sick.

    People who enjoy cruises have a different risk tolerance than people who see viruses everywhere. Live life. If you want the shot, get the shot. If you don’t, don’t. But stop telling people they cannot live their lives unless they submit to your beliefs.

    NJRob (bcf790)

  21. @20, NJRob, I’ve been on 2 cruises and liked them both. 2nd one we lucked into a bunch of upgrades (long story) and had a balcony room on the lido deck. So I like them. But cruises have a reputation for risk of illness. I think it’s overblown by media looking to sensationalize everything but it’s there, and if the people that run the cruise think they need to mandate a vaccine passports to sell tickets I don’t think the state of FL should stop that. I also don’t think the state of FL (or anywhere) should mandate that that all passengers be vaccinated prior to departure, but it seems reasonable that a country could make that a requirement for admission.

    Time123 (ae9d89)

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