Texas bans businesses from requiring proof of vaccination

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T0614CARNIVALVISTAGALVESTON_HR_C [Credit: Carnival Cruise Lines]
The port of Galveston welcomes the Carnival Vista to the port in early May. Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line/Robert Mihovil

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation banning businesses from requiring Covid-19 vaccination as a condition for service, the same day that Carnival Cruise Line said it would launch two ships from Galveston with vaccine mandates.

"Texans should have the freedom to go where they want without any limits, restrictions or requirements," Abbott said in a tweet. "Today, I signed a law that prohibits any [Texas] business or government entity from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information."

A Carnival statement indicated the line believes it may be exempt from law.

"We are evaluating the legislation recently signed into law in Texas regarding vaccine information. 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 said.

Only hours before Abbott signed the bill, Carnival had said that its first two ships to enter service would launch from Galveston, with the Carnival Vista departing July 3 followed by the Carnival Breeze on July 15, only for passengers with proof of full vaccination.

Abbott said in a video that the law prohibits those businesses from requiring any vaccine information as a condition for "receiving any service or entering any place." The governor in April had banned government entities from requiring so-called vaccine passports via executive order.

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