A judge ruled that the cruise line can check for vaccination proof, despite Florida laws.
While vacation cruise lines have begun to resume in the world’s tourist towns, it has not been without a significant increase in caution and restriction due to the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the infamous Diamond Princess cruise incident last year, no cruise line wants to be a focal point for a localized outbreak. It’s for this reason that many lines have begun requiring proof of full vaccination before allowing crew and passengers to board. This policy runs counter to laws passed in Florida by Governor Ron DeSantis, who forbade the usage of “vaccine passports” in the state.
This friction led to a legal case between Norwegian and the Florida state government, specifically against Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees. This lawsuit has, as of this weekend, been concluded in Norwegian’s favor. US District Judge Kathleen Williams of the Southern District of Florida ruled that the vaccine passport ban is not only unconstitutional, but a danger to public health and safety. The Judge ruled that Rivkees has no grounds to enforce the law, at least as far as Norwegian is concerned.
“The public health environment continues to evolve around the globe and our robust science-backed health and safety protocols, with vaccines at its cornerstone, allow us to provide what we believe is the safest vacation experience for people who long to get back to their everyday lives and explore the world once again,” Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norewegian Cruise Line Holdings, said in a statement.
A federal judge has granted Norwegian Cruise Line’s request to temporarily block a Florida law banning cruise companies from asking passengers for proof of coronavirus vaccination before they board a ship. https://t.co/Tn1vqahByU
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 9, 2021
Daniel Farkas, executive vice president and general counsel for Norwegian, added the lawsuit was filed “in the best interest of the welfare of our guests, crew and communities we visit in an effort to do our part as responsible corporate citizens to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, further spread of COVID-19 as we gradually relaunch our vessels.”