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Law experts: It's legal for cruise lines to ask for proof of vaccination, even if they sail in Florida

The state's newest law preventing organizations from requiring proof of COVID vaccinations wouldn't supersede CDC guidelines.

TAMPA, Fla — Despite the state legislature passing a bill to prevent businesses, schools and government offices from requiring proof a person was vaccinated against COVID-19, law experts say it won't supersede CDC guidelines.

After the senate debated whether or not vaccine passports are legal, an amended bill making it illegal to ask Floridians for proof of vaccination passed the house and now heads to Governor Ron DeSantis' desk. 

"We have religious exemptions. We have other exemptions. There's a lot of reasons somebody may not want to get a vaccine, so I don't believe they should be required to have a vaccine to go to the store," Senator Danny Burgess, (R) District 20, said.

But Democratic senators were still concerned the new law would conflict with cruises resuming in Florida.

"We are prohibiting them from finding out what the CDC is telling them they actually have to do to open the cruise ships again," Senator Annette Tadeo, (D) District 40 said.

Under the new CDC guidelines, ships can bypass a test voyage before opening it to the public if 98 percent of the crew and 95 percent of the passengers on board are vaccinated. 

"If they apply really strict sanitation measures and they make sure they coordinated the ports, it should be pretty safe," Dr. Jay Wolfson with USF Public Health said.

The Public Health and Law professor says Florida's new law won't stop most cruises from sailing in the state.

"They can legally ask you for proof of vaccination. They're not a Florida company. I don't think any of them really are. I don't think the governor would stand in the way of that happening," Wolfson said.

RELATED: Florida Legislature passes bill making it illegal to require proof of COVID vaccinations

RELATED: Florida surgeon general: Fully-vaccinated people shouldn't be advised to wear masks, avoid crowds anymore

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