Judge rules Norwegian Cruise Line can require proof of COVID-19 vaccine despite Florida law

ORLANDO, Fla. — A federal judge ruled in favor of Norwegian Cruise Line on Sunday and will allow the cruise line to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination on cruises out of Florida.

The preliminary injunction was issued despite a Florida law banning any “vaccine passports.”

READ: Florida reports record COVID-19 cases, virus hospitalizations on Saturday

Norwegian Cruise Line asked a federal judge to block a Florida law prohibiting cruise companies from demanding that passengers show written proof of coronavirus vaccination before they board a ship.

Norwegian officials have previously stated the “vaccine passport” ban, signed into law in May by Gov. Ron DeSantis, jeopardizes the health and safety of passengers and crew and is an unconstitutional infringement on the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee, among other things.

READ: Norwegian cruises challenges Florida passenger vaccine law

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings released the following statement:

“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. Nothing takes priority over the health and safety of the Company’s guests, crew and the communities visited and our commitment to them is paramount. The Company’s first sailing from Florida is scheduled on August 15, 2021on Norwegian Gem departing from Miami.”

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