Judge: Norwegian Cruises Can Require Proof of Vaccination | U.S. News®

MIAMI (AP) — A federal choose on Sunday evening granted Norwegian Cruise Line’s request to briefly block a Florida regulation banning cruise firms from asking passengers for proof of coronavirus vaccination earlier than they board a ship.

U.S. District Choose Kathleen Williams granted the preliminary injunction in a lawsuit difficult the state’s “vaccine passport” ban, which was signed into regulation in Might by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In an almost 60-page ruling, the choose mentioned Florida didn’t “present a legitimate evidentiary, factual, or authorized predicate” for banning vaccination proof. Williams additionally mentioned the cruise line firm “has demonstrated that public well being will probably be jeopardized whether it is required to droop its vaccination requirement.”

Norwegian additionally contends that the regulation is an unconstitutional infringement on the First Modification’s free speech assure. The lawsuit names state Surgeon Normal Scott Rivkees, who leads the Florida Division of Well being. The state’s lawyer, Pete Patterson, beforehand mentioned the regulation’s goal is to stop discrimination towards passengers who don’t get vaccinated.

A Norwegian cruise is about to depart from Miami on Aug. 15 — the corporate’s first voyage from Florida for the reason that pandemic halted its operations.

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“We welcome right this moment’s ruling that permits us to sail with 100% absolutely vaccinated friends and crew which we consider is the most secure and most prudent solution to resume cruise operations amid this international pandemic,” Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, mentioned in a press release Sunday.

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