Sunday, the United States district court has ruled against Florida Governor Ronald DeSantis, thus allowing Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) to make vaccination proof mandatory for the travellers.
In April, DeSantis had filed a lawsuit alleging that Norwegian Cruise demanding its travelers to show the ‘vaccine passport’ is against civil rights and had banned the company policy. DeSantis had also threatened that the cruise would be fined $5000 for each passenger if they continued with the documentation. However, Judge Kathleen Williams ruled that banning the documentation can put public lives at stake. Williams also went on to add that the ban is an infringement of the cruise-line’s rights.
On Monday, the office of the Governor said that the state will go to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. “We disagree with the judge’s legal reasoning and will be appealing to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals,” read the statement. “A prohibition on vaccine passports does not even implicate, let alone violate, anyone’s speech rights, and it furthers the substantial, local interest of preventing discrimination among customers based on private health information.”
Norwegian is set to set off from Miami on August 15 and the enforcement of their rights has given the company a boost of morale.
Florida, on the other hand, is in deep trouble as it has become the hotbed of the Delta variant. DeSantis’ government has been characteristically unwilling to enforce any of the mandates advised by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of affected is jumping exponentially every day and according to studies, it is six times the rate which is considered as “very high” by the CDC.
Norwegian stands firm in their decision to operate with a 100% vaccinated crew and passengers and after the verdict, they said, “The company’s policy of 100% vaccination of guests and crew was in place without issue in every port it sails from around the world except for Florida. Despite the ongoing global pandemic and the accelerating spread of the Delta variant, Florida prohibited the company from requiring vaccine documentation which the company believed would enable it to resume sailing in the safest way possible.”
Norwegian has Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises under its umbrella, which will continue to operate this way till at least October 2021.
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