Norwegian Cruises Challenges Florida’s Vaccine Passport Ban

People boarding a cruise ship
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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) has filed a lawsuit against Florida’s new vaccine passport ban and they will abandon the state entirely if the law is not reversed.

“The result would be a devastating, unrecoverable loss for everyone—not only for NCLH’s business but also for tens of thousands of passengers, employees, and stakeholders who all benefit from NCLH resuming safe operations as planned,” the lawsuit says. “The only way NCLH could maintain its protocols and operations as currently planned is by abandoning Florida altogether.”

A vaccine passport ban was priority legislation for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis going into this past spring’s legislative session, and Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature got legislation to DeSantis’ desk.

DeSantis has come out and will not relinquish or back down from Florida’s new law.

“We are going to enforce Florida law,” DeSantis said. “I mean, we have Florida law. We have laws that protect the people and the privacy of our citizens, and we are going to enforce it.”

NCLH has been threatening to pull out of Florida for months now.

“We hope that this doesn’t become a legal football or a political football, but at the end of the day, cruise ships have motors, propellers and rudders, and God forbid we can’t operate in the state of Florida for whatever reason, then there are other states that we do operate from,” CEO Frank Del Rio said in mid-May. “And we can operate from the Caribbean for ships that otherwise would have gone to Florida.”

NCLH has recently said Florida’s law has placed them “in an impossible dilemma as it prepares to set sail from Florida: NCLH will find itself either on the wrong side of health and safety and the operative federal legal framework, or else on the wrong side of Florida law.”

The State of Florida has also filed a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-related restrictions placed on the cruise industry.

U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday has said the CDC overstepped their limits, but the Biden Administration appealed Merryday’s decision. The fight between the two will be settled in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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