A Norwegian cruise may require a vaccine against Covid-19 in Florida


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference on August 3, 2021.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference on August 3, 2021.
Photography: Wilfredo Lee (AP))

Norwegian Cruise Lines will be allowed to require all passengers to be vaccinated before they are allowed to leave Florida, according to a federal judge’s decision on a preliminary injunction on Sunday. Norwegian sued the state last month because of a ridiculous Florida vaccine law that says private companies can’t require customers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Norwegian had hoped to restart operations in Florida on Aug. 15 after a long hiatus, but was forced to sue the state after Florida law signed the law on May 3. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Companies seeking vaccination status face fines of $ 5,000 per offense, under Florida law. But the Norwegian now has a pass to ask all potential customers and staff whether they vaccinated and banned all who did not.

“The cruise industry is a unique sector whose overall business model depends on the ability of operators to cross different federal, state, local and international jurisdictions in a matter of days and even hours – each with different laws, regulations and protocols. At the same time, scientific research shows that cruises are the focus of COVID-19 transmission, ”the court ruled on Sunday.

Florida has seen a terrible rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, with the state accounting for about 20% of COVID-19 cases in the country last week. Florida did not report cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, but currently has a seven-day average of approximately 19,000 cases per day based on Friday figures.

The U.S. more broadly is averaging over 100,000 cases per day for the first time since February, with people who are unvaccinated among the most ill.

Just 49.6% of Florida’s population is fully vaccinated against covid-19, slightly below the national average of 50.7%. The U.S. is slipping in the international vaccination rankings, with the country currently ranked 28th in overall vaccinations around the world. The U.S. had the 18th best vaccination rate as recently as a few a few weeks ago.

“We are pleased that Judge Williams has seen the facts, the law and the science as we have done and approved the company’s proposal to issue a preliminary ban that allows us to operate cruises from Florida with 100% vaccinated guests and crew,” said Daniel S. Farkas. the executive vice president and general adviser of the Norwegian Cruise Line is stated in a statement of the day Sunday.

“Although litigation is a strategic tool of last resort, our company has struggled to do what we believe is right and in the best interest of the well-being of our guests, crew and communities we visit, striving to do our part as responsible corporate citizens to minimize further the expansion of COVID-19 as we gradually restart our vessels, ”Farkas continued.

And while a preliminary ban is a good sign that Norwegian arguments will prevail in court, it is still an interim measure before all the merits are heard and decided. But fortunately for the Norwegians, they will now be allowed to continue operations as safely as possible.

“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 slogan, we think it hard and our commitment to these principles is proven by the lengths our company has traveled to provide the safest possible cruising experience from Florida, ”said Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Norway Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., stands in a statement of the day Sunday.

“We want nothing more than to set sail from Miami, the world capital of cruises, and from other magnificent ports in Florida, and we welcome today’s verdict that allows us to sail with 100% fully vaccinated guests and crew that we believe are the safest and most prudent way to proceed. cruising in the midst of this global pandemic, ”Del Rio said.

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