Judge: Norwegian cruises can require proof of vaccination
the Norwegian Epic, owned by the Norwegian Cruise Line Corporation, sails into the Port of Miami. Image via AP.

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The ruling lands days ahead of the cruise line's first pandemic-era launch from Miami.

A federal judge on Sunday night granted Norwegian Cruise Line’s request to temporarily block a Florida law banning cruise companies from asking passengers for proof of coronavirus vaccination before they board a ship.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams granted the preliminary injunction in a lawsuit challenging the state’s “vaccine passport” ban, which was signed into law in May by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In a nearly 60-page ruling, the judge said Florida failed to “provide a valid evidentiary, factual, or legal predicate” for banning vaccination proof. Williams also said the cruise line company “has demonstrated that public health will be jeopardized if it is required to suspend its vaccination requirement.”

Norwegian also contends that the law is an unconstitutional infringement on the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee. The lawsuit names state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, who leads the Florida Department of Health. The state’s attorney, Pete Patterson, previously said the law’s aim is to prevent discrimination against passengers who don’t get vaccinated.

A Norwegian cruise is set to depart from Miami on Aug. 15 — the company’s first voyage from Florida since the pandemic halted its operations.

“We welcome today’s ruling that allows us to sail with 100% fully vaccinated guests and crew which we believe is the safest and most prudent way to resume cruise operations amid this global pandemic,” Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, said in a statement Sunday.

Associated Press


  • Andrew Finn

    August 9, 2021 at 8:27 am

    Hey Emperor DeSantis —- It looks like Judge Williams is going to “stand in your way” on your moronic edict. How ya like it when somebody “stands in your way” ????

  • zhombre

    August 9, 2021 at 8:53 am

    Cackle, cackle, little troll. Wait a year and see where DeSantis stands in the polls as the election nears.

  • Tom Palmer

    August 9, 2021 at 9:21 am

    DeSantis can always blame it on the immigrants.

    • Zhombre

      August 9, 2021 at 11:30 am

      A Pavlovian, kick-DeSantis-in-the-shin response from an old newsie. Don’t tell me you think a porous border and a deluge of ‘undocumented’ immigrants into the country carrying coronaviruses is okay.

  • Eve

    August 9, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Desantis can stop them from docking in Florida.

    • Andrew Finn

      August 9, 2021 at 12:32 pm

      Yes he can Eve. That would be a real smart move considering how well the loss of both jobs and income would sit with the voters next year. They might “stand in his way” of being re-elected. One can only hope !!!!!!

Comments are closed.


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