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Norwegian Cruise Line Sues Florida Over Vaccine Requirements

The battle over the vaccination of cruise passengers continues to percolate

Seeking to overturn a state law prohibiting businesses from requiring COVID-19 vaccination proof, Norwegian Cruise Line sued Florida’s surgeon general as a “last resort.”

Norwegian and other cruise companies have been locked in a battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over whether cruise lines can require passengers to be vaccinated before boarding.

Hoping to resume cruising on Aug. 15, Norwegian says it has failed to convince the state to allow the cruise industry to require vaccines to help ensure passengers can remain safe while onboard. The lawsuit lists Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees as the lone defendant while seeking a preliminary injunction against the state.

Since banning cruises nearly a year and a half ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed conditions including vaccine requirements and protocols to allow ships to sail in U.S. waters again. However, the recently passed law that fines companies $5,000 if they require vaccinations prohibits cruise lines from enforcing the federal guidelines.

“One anomalous, misguided intrusion threatens to spoil N.C.L.H.’s careful planning and force it to cancel or hobble upcoming cruises, thereby imperiling and impairing passengers’ experiences and inflicting irreparable harm of vast dimensions,” the company says in the lawsuit.

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