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Norwegian Can Require Cruise Passengers Show Proof Of COVID-19 Vaccination, Judge Rules

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MATIAS J. OCNER MOCNER@MIAMIHERALD.COM
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The Miami Herald
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is suing Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, arguing that a state law preventing the company from requiring passengers show proof of COVID-19 vaccination puts its crew and passengers in danger.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings can require passengers show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, despite a Florida law barring companies from doing just that, a federal judge in Miami ruled Sunday.

The third-largest cruise company in the world sued Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees in July, arguing the state law puts passengers and crew at risk and violates federal law and the company’s constitutional rights. On Sunday, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida Kathleen Mary Williams blocked Florida from enforcing the law against Norwegian when the company restarts cruises from Florida this month.

The law that took effect in July allows the state to fine businesses $5,000 every time they require that a patron provide documentation of COVID-19 vaccination. Cruise companies already operating from Florida ports are getting around the law by requesting vaccine documents from passengers and hitting unvaccinated passengers with steep fees for multiple tests and on-board restrictions.

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.