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Celebrity Cruises poised to be first to resume cruises from U.S.

A cruise ship sails under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Calif., on March 9, 2020. Celebrity Cruises is poised to be the first cruise liner to set sail from the United States since the start of the coronavirus pandemic more than a year ago. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
A cruise ship sails under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Calif., on March 9, 2020. Celebrity Cruises is poised to be the first cruise liner to set sail from the United States since the start of the coronavirus pandemic more than a year ago. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

May 27 (UPI) -- Celebrity Cruises says its Celebrity Edge will be the first major cruise ship from the United States since the start of the coronavirus pandemic when it sets out to sea in June.

The cruise liner was cleared this week to sail out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. The Celebrity Edge will leave Port Everglades on Jun 26 for a seven-night cruise, the company said.

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Celebrity Cruises said it will follow CDC guidance and require that at least 95% of crew and passengers are vaccinated before they can board to ship.

No cruise ship has departed from any U.S. port since the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic early last year.

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"The power of travel has a way of healing our souls as we connect with cultures, sights and experiences that bring greater joy and renewed energy to our lives," Celebrity Cruises CEO and President Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said in a statement.

"Nothing compares to these experiences at sea and now the wonder of these journeys returns."

Celebrity's vaccination requirement, though, could run afoul of a recent Florida mandate that bars businesses, schools and government entities from asking for COVID-19 vaccination proof.

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"We've been very clear, the law is clear in Florida," Taryn Fenske, a spokeswoman for DeSantis, told the Miami Herald. "You can't mandate vaccine passports.

"We are interested to see how the CDC works with them so that they don't get these exorbitant fines."

DeSantis and the CDC will start mediation Thursday in connection with a lawsuit he filed against the agency in April to drop its cruise safety requirements.

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A year in pandemic: How COVID-19 changed the world

January 31, 2020
National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

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