According to a report on WFTV, a federal judge ruled Sunday that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is now permitted to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination from its passengers on cruises departing from Florida.
The judge issued the preliminary injunction despite the law put into effect back in May of 2021 by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, which bans any Florida businesses from requiring “vaccine passports” from their customers.
In their request to require proof of vaccination, officials from NCL said that the banning of vaccine passports in Florida “jeopardizes the health and safety of passengers and crew and is an unconstitutional infringement on the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee, among other things.”
A spokesperson for NCL Holdings released the following statement:
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is pleased to report that today Judge Williams ruled in our favor granting a preliminary injunction which paves the way for the Company’s three brands to require documentation confirming a guest’s vaccination status prior to boarding. This order will now allow the Company to operate in the safest way possible with 100% vaccination of all guests and crew when sailing from Florida ports. Nothing takes priority over the health and safety of the Company’s guests, crew and the communities visited and our commitment to them is paramount. The Company’s first sailing from Florida is scheduled on August 15, 2021on Norwegian Gem departing from Miami.
This move by a federal judge has us wondering whether or not the ruling will eventually be applied to other cruise lines that depart from Florida ports as well.
Stay up to date on COVID and travel recommendations by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.