The situation with COVID-19 develops, and rules regarding masks, vaccines, and more continue to change.
We’ve shared details about a law that was passed in Florida banning businesses from requiring guests to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to serve them. But, now we’ve got a development on how that situation may be changing when it comes to cruises.
Previously, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order banning vaccine passports in the State. This was then turned into a law that was passed by the Florida legislature and signed by the Governor, making the terms permanent.
The law prevents Florida businesses from requiring guests to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to serve them. This has become an issue of contention when it comes to cruise lines seeking to set sail from Florida due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines regarding the return to sailing.
Essentially, if a cruise line seeks to have one of its ships take paying passengers out into the water again, the CDC guidelines note that they should (1) require at least 95% of their passengers to be vaccinated, and require at least 98% of their crew members to be vaccinated; or (2) they must complete a simulation/test sailing phase.
Keep in mind that Florida did sue the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seeking to block the vaccination requirements and ultimately a federal court ruled that the CDC cannot enforce its conditional framework for the return to sailing, but the regulations can be used as guidelines. According to PBS, “all cruise lines operating in Florida have agreed to keep following the CDC’s instructions on a voluntary basis.”
But now one federal judge has weighed in on the issue of vaccination passports when it comes to cruises leaving from Florida. According to WFTV, on Sunday a federal judge weighed in favor of Norwegian Cruise Line and will allow the cruise line to require guests to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination for cruises leaving out of Florida. The judge issued the preliminary injunction despite Florida’s law banning vaccine passports.
A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings stated, “Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is pleased to report that today Judge Williams ruled in our favor granting a preliminary injunction which paves the way for the Company’s three brands to require documentation confirming a guest’s vaccination status prior to boarding. This order will now allow the Company to operate in the safest way possible with 100% vaccination of all guests and crew when sailing from Florida ports...The Company’s first sailing from Florida is scheduled on August 15, 2021 on Norwegian Gem departing from Miami.”
According to PBS, a spokesperson for Governor DeSantis said the state will appeal the federal Judge’s ruling.
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more updates on this situation and let you know what we find.
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The post Judge Rules That Cruise Line Can Require Proof of COVID-19 Vaccine, Despite Florida Law first appeared on the disney food blog.