This week multiple cruise lines have resumed sailing out of Florida for the first time since the pandemic. Many cruise lines require proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding. Now, cruises departing from Florida can require proof of vaccination.
A preliminary ruling issued August 8th by District Judge Kathleen Williams allows cruise lines to require proof of the COVID-19 vaccine before passengers are allowed to board any ship. This ruling directly contradicts Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ push for banning vaccine passports.
Related – Port Canaveral gets ready for cruising to return
The ruling comes after Norwegian Cruise Line fought against Florida’s vaccine passport ban. Norwegian argued that the ban jeopardizes public health and is an unconstitutional infringement on Norwegian’s rights.
If DeSantis had been allowed to enforce the law against Norwegian, the company could have faced a penalty of $5,000 per passenger. Because the judge blocked the law, Norwegian will proceed with a plan to resume port activity in Miami on Aug. 15.
Related – Orange County Florida has seen a huge spike in COVID cases leaders urge Face Masks to return
“We are pleased that Judge Williams saw the facts, the law and the science as we did and granted the Company’s motion for preliminary injunction allowing us to operate cruises from Florida with 100% vaccinated guests and crew,” Norwegian’s executive vice president Daniel S. Farkas said
Norwegian has chosen to require vaccination proof from passengers rather than conduct test sailings like other cruise lines have done. The company attested to the CDC it would confirm that at least 95% of passengers have been vaccinated.
This ruling could open the door for other cruise lines to require vaccination proof rather than allowing proof of a negative test.
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