ORLANDO, Fla. — Cruising to The Bahamas will require being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 starting Sept. 3, The Bahamas prime minister ordered Thursday.
What You Need To Know
- The Bahamas will require all cruise guests over 12 be vaccinated
- The order lasts through Nov. 1
- Florida trying to ban cruise lines from requiring vaccines
The updated declaration says no cruise ship will be allowed to enter a port without handing over the ship manifest disclosing crew and passenger vaccinations. All passengers over 12 will need to have been vaccinated.
Unvaccinated passengers or crew will be allowed, but they must have a medical excuse.
The order lasts through Nov. 1.
It's the latest wrinkle in the state of Florida's efforts to block cruise ships from requiring ship passengers to be vaccinated. A court recently blocked the state from doing so after Norwegian Cruise Lines took Florida to court. The state is appealing the ruling.
The cruise lines are able to require vaccinations for cruises leaving from other states, but Florida's ports are considered to be some of the busiest cruise ports in the world.
The Bahamas is not the only cruise destination requiring cruise guests to be fully vaccinated before a ship can enter the port. The U.S. Virgin Islands has a similar order in place. Royal Caribbean guests sailing from Port Canaveral earlier this month had to be fully-vaccinated because the ship was visiting USVI.
The Bahamas is an extremely popular cruise destination, and many cruise lines have private islands in The Bahamas that could be affected as well.
The CDC ranks The Bahamas at Level 3, or "High" among its COVID-19 travel notices, recommending that people be fully vaccinated before vising the islands, and that people who are unvaccinated should avoid nonessential travel there.