Cruise Line Allowed to Require Proof of Vaccination at Florida Ports
Norwegian Cruise Lines will be able to set sail with a 100 percent vaccination rate of all passengers and crew from Florida ports thanks to a preliminary injunction by a federal judge Sunday night. In a statement, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd President and CEO Frank Del Rio called Miami the cruise capital of the world, adding that the ruling made it possible for the company to sail safely during the pandemic. Florida’s “vaccine passport” ban originally disallowed cruise lines from requiring proof of COVID vaccines before boarding, but as the state experiences a surge in cases, Norwegian asked U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Williams to block the law. “It’s scary what is happening in Florida. Florida is a hotspot,” said Norwegian attorney Derek Shaffer. State attorney Pete Patterson said the point of the law was to prevent passengers from being discriminated against if they weren’t vaccinated. “You can’t discriminate against customers on the basis of their refusal to give you information,” he told NBC Miami. Norwegian has previously threatened to leave Florida completely. “Simply stated, [Norwegian] cannot sail as planned unless and until Florida’s ban gives way,” said the company in court documents.