Judge: Florida can’t ban NCLH requirement for proof of vaccination

Written by Nick Blenkey
Norwegian Cruise Lines logo on cruise ship stack

A preliminary injunction issued Sunday by U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams temporarily enjoins the state of Florida from enforcing its ban on the requirement for proof of COVID-19 vaccinations on Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH).

The rate of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations has been surging across Florida. Meantime legal battles have been ongoing between the state, the cruise industry and the CDC.

Williams’s 59 page ruling gives a good insight into what’s been going on, not least into how expensive and limited the cruise experience will be for unvaccinated passengers on those ships complying with the Florida law against “vaccine passports.”

In her ruling, she writes, in part, “ … while Plaintiffs [NCLH] advance substantial unrebutted evidence showing that they are likely to suffer significant financial and reputational harms absent an injunction, Defendant [Dr. Scott Rivkees, the Surgeon General of Florida and the head of the Florida Department of Health] fails to articulate or provide any evidence of harms that the state would suffer if an injunction was entered. And while NCLH has demonstrated that public health will be jeopardized if it is required to suspend its vaccination requirement, Defendant identifies no public benefit from the continued enforcement of the Statute against NCLH. For these reasons, the balance of equities and the public interest also weigh in favor of an injunction.”

Dowload the complete ruling below.

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