The governor of the southern state, Ron DeSantis, appealed the decision of the Justice and indicated that he disagrees with the legal reasoning of the judge in charge of the case.
The federal judge of the southern district of Florida, Kathleen Mary Williams, has given a victory to the third-largest cruise company in the world in its dispute with the state government. Thanks to its decision, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings may require proof of vaccination against COVID 19 for passengers and employees who board their ships, even when they are doing so in a Florida port.
The southern state, led by Governor Ron DeSantis, passed a law prohibiting governments and private companies from requesting proof of vaccination. This is part of the state policy against Covid 19, which has tried from the beginning to prevent the use of masks and to keep business open in South America.
DeSantis announced Monday that it would appeal the decision of Judge Kathleen Williams and reiterated that asking for proof of vaccination to passengers is discriminatory.
We do not agree with the judge's legal argument and will appeal to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal.
He added that the ban on vaccine passports also does not mean that there is much local interest in curbing discrimination between consumers on the basis of minor violations, one's right of expression, and private medical information. Is.
The judge ruled that Florida law puts passengers and crew at risk.
Given Florida's importance in the cruise industry, as Miami is the world's capital, this state law puts companies in a difficult position. On the one hand, the CDC recommended that 98 percent of the crew and 95 percent of the passengers needed to be vaccinated for the safe return of cruise trips.
But to follow this recommendation, it would be necessary to request proof of vaccination, something that in Florida, given the new law, is illegal and could cost the company $ 5,000 per passenger as a fine.
To return to operations from Florida, Norwegian planned to require 100 percent of its passengers to be vaccinated. The company plans to sail from a Florida port on August 15 for the first time in 17 months. If the state got in the way, the company threatened to move its operations out of state. But none of this is that easy.
Between the rhetoric between the company and the state, there was a lawsuit that ended with Federal Judge Williams' determination that Norway would undoubtedly cause irreparable damage to its reputation if it used one of its ships, the covid 19 created, resulting in a tremendous economic crisis. Therefore, the judge determined that Florida law puts passengers and crew at risk and goes against federal law and the company's constitutional rights.
Norwegian: "We believe it is the safest and prudent way to resume our operations amid this pandemic."
We want nothing more than to travel from Miami, the world's cruise capital, and other great Florida ports. Therefore, we celebrate today's decision that will allow us to travel with 100% vaccinated passengers and crew, which we consider to be the safest way to resume our operations amid this epidemic. And the sensible way," said Frank del Río in a statement sent to the media, President of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
In the past, DeSantis has said that the law is necessary to protect those who have not been vaccinated against discrimination and to protect people's privacy. In her ruling, the judge alluded to these arguments.
There is no evidence that residents have interfered with their medical privacy or experienced discrimination because a trader, or a cruise line, has asked for proof of vaccination," Williams wrote.
In the coming weeks, several cruise companies plan to resume their activities from Florida. However, in light of this ruling, the rules for these trips are likely to change.