With Florida holding the line against all-things COVID, the state is not only being pressured by its Blue State counterparts but also the world community as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has sued Florida over the state’s vaccine passport ban.
Previously, the state of Florida along with many prominent voices in Florida politics canned the idea of vaccine passports faster than you could say “vaccine passport.” In particular, State Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R-32), who responded to the idea with a resounding “HELL NO” and promised to, “Do everything in my power to BAN vaccine passports.”
With the hostile kickback against vaccine passports, to say the least, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) banned the practice and has sparked a national conversation on the issue.
Now, Norwegian Cruise Line had threatened to pull its ships from Florida ports after Gov. DeSantis signed a bill in May barring businesses from requiring customers’ proof of vaccination and is asking the courts to block the law.
The company, which plans to restart cruises out of Florida in August with a full vaccination policy for all crew and passengers through Oct. 31, indicated that it would not be able to operate in the state if the law remains in effect.
Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that cruise ships won’t need to mandate vaccines, but cruise operators still have to satisfy CDC guidelines, per WSJ. One way to get the green light is to ensure a 95% vaccination rate for crew and passengers.
The company also argues that banning information involving vaccine documentation affects freedom of speech protections. The lawsuit states that canceling itineraries for ships out of Miami could lead to revenue losses of roughly $4 million per seven-day cruise, according to WSJ.
DeSantis and the state of Florida are no strangers to COVID legal actions, as the Governor previously sued in order to get cruise lines back up and running.
The governor on previous occasions has drawn parallels between the seemingly unregulated air travel and the fact that businesses such as Carnival Cruise Lines have not been able to open up their ports. According to DeSantis, the cruise industry employs around 200,000 people in South Florida alone.