Under Sola’s proposal, vaccinations would only be offered to vessel crews once Florida realizes a surplus of vaccines.
In a March 31 meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sola also articulated how vaccinations, sanitation and coordination could create the conditions to permit cruise ships to resume passenger operations.
As well, the commissioner briefed DeSantis and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on his Fact Finding 30 investigation of COVID-19 impacts on the cruise industry and consumer protections for passengers.
Passenger bill of rights
These protections include potential changes in regulations governing cruise line refunds and the possibility of establishing a passenger bill of rights.
'While the determination about when cruise ships can begin operating again is primarily a federal one, this is a matter is of great concern, and no small urgency, to states,' Sola said.
Preparations to resume cruising at key Florida homeports
His Tallahassee discussions followed meetings with local government officials and industry executives in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Cape Canaveral. During those, he was shown the preparations to support cruise resumption.
According to an FMC release, it was demonstrated that each port was ready to provide onsite testing; that they have protocols and plans in place to evacuate, isolate and treat passengers in need of medical assistance; and that they have coordinated with appropriate authorities and partners to provide vaccinations.
These are part of requirements under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's conditional sailing order.