AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he plans to sign a law that bans any business in his state to require any vaccine information from its patrons.
In a tweet exchange Monday afternoon, conservative writer Daniel Horowitz asked Abbott why he was allowing Carnival to sail out of Galveston and "push vaccine passports."
The CDC recently has told cruise line operators that sailing from U.S. ports like Galveston could resume as early as July, provided most crew members and passengers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
On Monday, Royal Caribbean said its Independence of the Seas, which routinely ships out from Texas to the Western Caribbean on seven-night itineraries, was approved for an Aug. 1 start of simulation cruises, which will test whether the cruise liner's new safety and health protocols are effective at preventing the spread of the virus ahead of the restart.
"I'm signing a law today that prohibits any business operating in Texas from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information," wrote Abbott in his response, which was addressed on his personal Twitter account. "Texas is open 100% without any restrictions or limitations or requirements."
On May 25, the Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees, Galveston County Health District and Carnival signed off on a 40-page agreement detailing safe sailing processes and procedures that was submitted to the CDC, which requires the agreements to grant a "Conditional Sailing Order."
Under these agreements, cruise liners are expected to address the following:
- Simulated passenger cruises
- Compliance with port COVID safety procedures
- A tabletop exercise with cruise line and port staff on port COVID safety procedures and protocols
- An emergency response plan in the event of an outbreak
- A plan for medical evacuations at sea coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard
- Cruise terminal and transportation vehicle cleaning requirements
Approvals for Carnival and Royal Caribbean are significant for the port that had to shut down 15 months ago at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The video above is from a previous story.