Florida has announced that it will appeal the recent ruling that allows NCL to require travelers to provide vaccination documentation. The state argues that the decision is unconstitutional and threatens public health.
Florida has announced that it will appeal a recent ruling that allows the National Collegiate Licensing Company to require vaccination for admittance.
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has announced that the state would appeal a decision that allows Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to demand vaccination proof for passengers leaving from Sunshine State ports.
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams granted a preliminary injunction on Sunday, stating that NCLH will most likely prevail in its case against Florida. The cruise line’s primary reasons are that the “vaccine passport” restriction jeopardizes public health and violates Norwegian rights.
In a statement, DeSantis’ office stated, “We disagree with the judge’s legal reasoning and will be appealing to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.”
The Governor said, “A ban on vaccination passports… furthers the significant, local interest of avoiding discrimination among consumers based on private health information.”
In Miami, a sail away
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, decided months ago to only resume service with fully vaccinated staff and passengers. Except for its home port of Florida, the firm claims that the policy was adopted without reservation in every port from which it sails across the globe.
READ MORE: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Updates Cruise Ship Warnings to Focus on Unvaccinated Passengers
Judge Williams found no “evidentiary evidence to demonstrate that citizens have suffered intrusions on their medical privacy or discrimination as a result of certain companies, particularly cruise lines, requiring COVID-19 immunization documentation,” according to her decision.
On July 1, the new Florida legislation went into force. It threatens penalties of up to $5,000 per person for cruise lines and other companies that require vaccination proof.
As a result, cruise lines have had to walk a fine line between the federal Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations, which call for the vast majority of passengers and crew members to be fully vaccinated, and the Florida law, which prohibits cruise lines from requiring customers to reveal their vaccination status.
Several cruise companies are asking passengers to volunteer whether or not they have been vaccinated. If they decline, they will be deemed unvaccinated, incurring extra expenses in the form of further testing and insurance coverage, as well as being barred from some restaurants and other areas on board.
Encore in Norwegian (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)
In many instances, visitors who have been vaccinated and those who have not been vaccinated are given different colored wristbands, thus establishing two classes of travelers, which the Florida legislation purports to prohibit. The cruise line strategy, according to Judge Williams, would most certainly be supported in a trial.
She stated, “Courts have indicated that the unvaccinated population is not a protected class that has a basic constitutional right to be unvaccinated.”
Florida attempted unsuccessfully to have the case transferred from the Southern District of Florida, which is headquartered in Miami, to the Middle District of Florida, which is based in Tampa. There, Judge Steven Merryday has ruled in Florida’s favor in a case challenging the CDC’s jurisdiction to regulate the cruise industry’s startup conditions.
The Norwegian Cruise Line’s Encore departed Seattle on August 7th, marking the line’s first voyage from a U.S. port since the industry closed in March 2020. With the permission of the state of Washington, all passengers and crew were completely vaccinated.
The Norwegian Gem will leave from Miami on August 15, marking the line’s first voyage from the Sunshine State since the closure ended. It’s a seven-night cruise that stops at Roatán, Honduras, Harvest Caye, Belize, and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.
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The Florida To Appeal Ruling That Allows NCL To Require Vaccine Documentation is a story about the Florida Supreme Court ruling that allows Norwegian Cruise Line to require passengers to provide vaccination documentation. Reference: will norwegian cruise line require covid vaccine.
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