Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried applauded a court ruling against Gov. Ron DeSantis Monday that stops the state from banning cruise companies from requiring passengers to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination before boarding a ship.
“Let our local businesses and our corporations do what they believe is right for their employees and for their consumers,” Fried told reporters at the Capitol.
In a nearly 60-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams on Sunday said Florida failed to “provide a valid evidentiary, factual, or legal predicate” for banning vaccination proof.
Williams also said Norwegian Cruise Line, who filed the challenge, demonstrated that “public health will be jeopardized if it is required to suspend its vaccination requirement.”
In early May, DeSantis signed a bill prohibiting businesses and local governments from implementing emergency measures such as mask and vaccine mandates.
The move drew the ire of many Democrats including Fried, a Democratic gubernatorial contender.
“This is what’s called free markets,” Fried added. “They are doing their part. We need to let them do what is necessary to protect the people they are coming in contact with, whether it is a cruise or our local businesses.”
A Norwegian cruise is set to depart from Miami on Sunday — 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.
Pushback over DeSantis’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic comes as infections in Florida reach historic highs. On Friday, state health officials recorded more than 22,900 new COVID-19 cases and 93 additional deaths, Fried said.
Officials also reported 13,977 COVID-19 hospitalizations, marking the eighth consecutive day the state broke its daily hospitalization record.
Vaccination rates, meanwhile, are increasing.
Roughly 49.5% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.
Content from the Associated Press was used in this report.
August 9, 2021 at 4:14 pm
Yes Nikki, that was a great ruling on the part of Judge Williams. I guess she is telling Emperor DeSantis that she is going to “stand in your way” and prevent him from enforcing his moronic edict. I hope the other cruise lines can accomplish the same thing. Anything that defeats the Emperor DeSantis is a good thing for Florida.
August 9, 2021 at 11:09 pm
Andrew who claims he is a Republican. Uh huh. Looks like you are more of a Nikki Fried groupie. Sorry Andrew she is already hooked up with a weed grower.
August 9, 2021 at 4:50 pm
Wish carnival would do this, i dont want unvaccinated people in an elevator an tight places with me, because if they end up testing positive then they will trace everyone that was close to them an quarantine them, i didnt want my vaccine, but i wanted to cruise so i went an got it, idk why people dont want the vaccine, i was scared it was going to hurt or id get sick for a few days, an it didnt hurt at all, an i didnt get any side effects, then u have these people that say they dont want the vaccine because its a chip, an they think they will be tracked, news flash they already track u through the phone u have on u at all times, an if they wanna track me, they will get bored awful fast! The vaccine been out for a while now, an people have been doing fine with it , the only way to get back to sailing is vaccinated only cruises , no one put up this big of a fight against the other vaccines like the chickenpox shot, everyone just ran out an got it, because it was required , i do still love our governor though, cruises are different then things an places here at home, i dont wanna get through off the ship because someone decided they didnt want a vaccine got near me
August 9, 2021 at 4:58 pm
I will not produce my “papers” for any tin pan dictator, regardless of what her temporary title is. Fear is an awful thing, and it sickens me to see it take over our society while people like Nikki Fried fan its flames for the sake of her own political careers. When this all ends (and I know there are people in Tallahassee and Washington who hope it NEVER ends), there will be a reckoning for those who stood against for the rights of people to live their lives free of the tyranny of petty bureaucrats like Nikki Fried.
Demented J. Trump
August 12, 2021 at 6:13 pm
August 9, 2021 at 6:00 pm
August 9, 2021 at 6:28 pm
A witless, kneejerk comment. Talk about f_ck’n Pavlov; aren’t you his dog. Did you once boast you worked something like 200 years in the newsie trade? What a waste.
August 10, 2021 at 1:36 pm
Cruise ships represent a special case. The cruise ship industry already has a checkered history of novovirus outbreaks aboard ships, causing acute gastrointestinal illnesses; it is only prudent they should be extra cautious and prudent regarding coronaviruses. I disagree on this particular issue, but I have no intention whatsoever of indulging in the idiotic, knee-jerk hatred of DeSantis. You people are hyenas.
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