Cruise Line sues Florida over passport ban over COVID vaccine

July 15, 2021 – Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings filed a lawsuit against the Florida Surgeon General on Tuesday, claiming that the state’s passport ban for the COVID-19 vaccine is preventing cruise passengers from resuming their travel “safely and safely. all safety ”.

The cruise line, which is headquartered in Miami, said the ban violates the First Amendment by blocking communication between a company and its customers. It also says the ban violates the Fourteenth Amendment by limiting a company’s ability to keep customers and employees safe.

The company added that Florida was disrupting commercial interests, interstate commerce, and international commerce without just cause.

“An abnormal and ill-advised intrusion threatens to spoil NCLH’s careful planning and force it to cancel or obstruct upcoming cruises, thereby jeopardizing and altering passenger experiences and inflicting irreparable damage of vast dimensions,” writes the company on file.

The lawsuit is a “last resort,” the cruise line wrote. For months, Norwegian pushed back Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his executive order that bans companies from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination. In May, CEO Frank Del Rio said the cruise line could move elsewhere if Florida continued to implement the order, according to The New York Times.

Norwegian’s legal deposit adds to the latest developments regarding cruise lines trying to restart their trips to Florida. The CDC created a “conditional navigation order” with strict guidelines for ships to sail this year, but Florida sued the CDC, and a federal judge in June ruled the orders were an abuse of power, The New York Times reported. The CDC appealed the judge’s ruling last week, arguing that a lack of guidance could “worsen the introduction and spread of the virus in the United States.”

On June 26, Celebrity Cruises launched the first major cruise from a U.S. port since the start of the pandemic, with Celebrity Edge sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Mexico and the Bahamas. On July 4, Carnival’s first cruise left Miami for the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. Norwegian hopes to resume cruises from Miami on August 15.

Cruise lines have also put in place new strategies to circumvent the Florida executive order. Carnival Cruise Line announced this week that unvaccinated passengers departing from Florida must purchase travel insurance and show proof of insurance prior to boarding.

Insurance requirement begins July 31 and applies to excursions departing from Carnival Ports in Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. The policy should include $ 10,000 per person for medical coverage and $ 30,000 for emergency medical evacuation coverage. Unvaccinated passengers without insurance will not be allowed to board and their ticket will not be refunded, CBS News reported.

Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean Group announced a similar requirement for unvaccinated passengers on Florida cruises. Police are demanding $ 25,000 per person for medical coverage and $ 50,000 for quarantine and medical evacuation related to COVID. Unvaccinated passengers will need a policy for travel between August 1 and December 31.

WebMD Health News Brief

Sources

The Hill: “Norwegian Cruise Line is suing Florida over passport ban over COVID-19 vaccine. “

The New York Times: “Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is suing Florida for ban on vaccine requirements.”

CBS News: “Carnival cruises requiring unvaccinated passengers to be insured prior to boarding.”


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