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Judge Rules Norwegian Cruises Can Ask For Proof Of Vaccination In Florida

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Last night, a federal judge ruled that Norwegian Cruise Line was able to ask passengers that are boarding in Florida for proof of their vaccination. The news comes after the state of Florida passed a controversial law banning the use of vaccine passports, and after a concerted effort on behalf of cruise lines to get around the law.

Judge Rules Norwegian Cruise Line Can Ask For Vaccination Proof In Florida

The latest twist in the ongoing saga of the cruise industry and the state of Florida, it comes as cruise lines have been reporting positive cases of Covid-19 onboard their cruises, and could help to prevent this from happening again in the future. Here’s everything you need to know about this story, and other cruise-related developments that have occurred in the past week. 

norwegian epic

Judge Sides With Norwegian – Information For Travelers

Back in April of this year, the governor of Florida Ron DeSantis issued an executive order that banned the use of vaccine passports in the state. Citing concerns that such a document would create a two-class system for citizens of the state, it meant that businesses in the state couldn’t restrict access for unvaccinated members of the public – an act that had consequences for the cruise industry, which had been working hard lobbying the CDC for a resumption of operations, as it meant they could not ask passengers in Florida for proof of vaccination.

norwegian jade ship

On July 13th, Norwegian Cruise Line filed a lawsuit against Florida’s surgeon general, accusing the state of preventing them from restarting their operations in the state “safely and soundly”. The basis for Norwegian’s claim was that the ban on vaccine passports was not valid due to the fact that it not only pre-empts federal law, but that it also goes against several aspects of the constitution, including the first amendment.

norwegian sun ship

Last night, it emerged that the cruise line had been handed a win in their legal proceedings. The U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams granted the cruise line’s request for a preliminary injunction that would allow them to require proof of vaccination for passengers in the lead up to the trial of the case. The decision buys the cruise line some time, and will allow them to ask for evidence from passengers for their August 15th departure from Miami – their first departure from the state since the pandemic brought the industry to a screeching halt.

norwegian epic ship

Prior to the judge’s decision, asking passengers for proof of vaccination would have seen the cruise line fined as much as $5000 for each infringement of the executive order. During the court hearing, Norwegian’s attorney described the situation in Florida as “scary”, before adding that they were trying to protect their staff and passengers.

Norwegian Cruise ship painting in dock

Speaking about the matter, Norwegian’s CEO, Frank Del Rio, said:

“The health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit is our number one priority, today, tomorrow and forever. It’s not a slogan or a tagline, we fiercely mean it and our commitment to these principles is demonstrated by the lengths our Company has gone through to provide the safest possible cruise experience from Florida.”

Norwegian cruise ship, Breakaway leaving New York Harbor

In other cruise-related news, both Carnival and Royal Caribbean have updated their restrictions following a series of positive Covid-19 tests on board their cruises. Carnival has widened its mask policies, whereas Royal Caribbean now requires passengers to be tested prior to boarding their cruise ships.

Crusie ship order 100 days

Read More:

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19

Carnival Cruise Line Adopts New Mask Policies

Royal Caribbean Adds Testing Requirement Following Cases On Board

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Harry K

Wednesday 11th of August 2021

LOL - an outbreak on a Carnival ship where all crew and passengers had the shots. You pro-injection guys are really too much with your religious fervor.

john

Monday 9th of August 2021

Excellent and common-sense decision. Florida is COVID-central right now and DeSantis and his supporters have 0 ground to stand spew their nonsense when the virus is rampaging there (same goes with Texas).

Another often overlooked fact is that these cruises dock in other countries, many of which have requirements for people coming on their territory to be fully vaccinated. This clearly falls within federal jurisdiction, not state.

Aaron

Monday 9th of August 2021

Keep strong De Santis ! Protect Floria as state of freedom ! Thank you

Harry K

Wednesday 11th of August 2021

@Mary, There are plenty of Aarons out there, thankfully. I have a feeling that a lot of the people posting about loving lockdowns, masks, and injections are bots meant to demoralize people. If not, they're NPCs which is the exact same thing and they should be treated accordingly.

Mary

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

@Aaron, Mr Aaron I love the way you think you're a smart individual with common sense it's good to hear from someone like you

Jason

Monday 9th of August 2021

Yes!!! finally sanity and rule of law prevails.

Karl

Monday 9th of August 2021

@Jason, 100% agree. Florida is not above the law and is not “the state of freedom”. Federal law must prevail and the safety of the collective is vastly more important than the individual liberties or the few.

It’s so silly that so many in the US shout out loud, we’re all sheep, regardless of science (as that is apparently a scam) but in the end will get vaccinated too.

I feel for the normal people in the US that just want their lives back, delayed by people that right for individual liberties at all cost.

Very happy that the judge ruled in favor of sanity.

Martina

Monday 9th of August 2021

@Vinny the Adventurer, agreed. 3 out of 4 cases are vaccinated people. Imagine thinking that violating Hipaa laws is actually "sanity and rule of law"

Vinny the Adventurer

Monday 9th of August 2021

@Jason, The vaccine is useless and does nothing regarding the spread. "Sanity and the rule of law". Lol.