Celebrity Edge’s sailing approval could lead to legal trouble amid Florida’s ban on vaccine passports

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After Celebrity Edge was announced as the first major cruise ship to sail from the United States in over a year, the cruise line may encounter hefty fines due to a bill signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

What should be great news for Celebrity Cruises, which is owned by Royal Caribbean Group, may soon become a problem when sailing out of Florida.

The cruise line was cleared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to sail out of Port Everglades with paying passengers on June 26.

The green light was given with stringent rules including a fully vaccinated crew, passengers 16 and older showing proof of vaccination and starting Aug. 1, passengers 12 and older showing proof of vaccination.

These requirement would be defying a new law signed by DeSantis earlier this month.

“You have a right to participate in society, go to a restaurant, a movie, a ball game, all these things without having to divulge this type of information,” said DeSantis back on May 3.

The law bans companies in Florida from requiring vaccinations.

The governor filed a lawsuit asking a judge to force the CDC to drop the cruise rules.

The Office of Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday released the following statement to 7News:

“Companies doing business in Florida, including Celebrity Cruises, should immediately cease to impose such discriminatory policies upon individuals. Companies that violate this law would be subject to a fine of $5,000 each time they require a customer to present a ‘vaccine passport’ for service.”

The move by the governor, however, isn’t sitting well with the cruise industry.

The CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line responded to the new law saying he would consider moving the company’s ships out of Florida.

The mayors of Broward and Miami-Dade are hoping the governor changes course.

“If they can’t sail out of Florida, they will find someplace to sail out of,” said Broward County Mayor Steve Geller.

“The public is waiting,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “They will fly to other places to take cruises if we fail them, if we let this industry down. If we let our workforce down.”

Court ordered mediation for the lawsuit begins on Thursday which could potentially determine how this sailing situation plays out.

7News has reached out to Royal Caribbean Group for a comment.

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