GALVESTON, Texas — Carnival officials say the company will still require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for most passengers sailing from Galveston when cruises restart in July, after more than a year of being shut down because of the pandemic.
That’s despite the “vaccine passport ban” Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Tuesday that says no Texas business can require a customer to show proof of vaccination.
“We are evaluating the legislation recently signed into law in Texas regarding vaccine information,” said a Carnival spokesperson in a statement emailed Wednesday to KHOU 11 News. “The law provides exceptions for when a business is implementing COVID protocols in accordance with federal law which is consistent with our plans to comply with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s guidelines.”
Carnival officials say those guidelines let them accommodate a small number of unvaccinated guests, including kids under 12 who can’t get the vaccines, as well as exemptions as required by federal law, based on the total number of vaccinated guests on board.
Those unvaccinated guests will have to undergo testing, wear a mask and follow other rules. Carnival is asking them to submit their names online to a list for follow-up.
A spokesperson told KHOU 11 News they’ve shared this information with guests sailing from Galveston in July.
At least 95% of passengers on those Texas cruises will be fully vaccinated. They’ll have to get their final dose at least 14 days before boarding this ship and show proof at check-in.
If passengers decide this setup doesn’t work for them, they have until June 14 to rebook.
The Carnival Vista is scheduled to restart guest operations from Port of Galveston on July 3, followed by Carnival Breeze on July 15.