Norwegian Cruise Line can require proof of vaccination after judge's ruling

It’s a continuing battle between the State of Florida and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with individual cruise lines caught in the middle.

Norwegian Cruise Line can now require passengers to prove they are vaccinated before boarding any of Norwegian's cruises leaving from Florida.

"It is a big win because it is saying to the government that this COVID vaccine passport ban, not asking passengers whether they have the passport, is something that will not be upheld. I think it is a clear signal to the entire industry that they are looking to knock down this law which clears out a huge impediment to the cruise lines sailing safely," said maritime lawyer Michael Winkleman.

The state is planning on appealing the judge's decision.

On Sunday, the cruise line put out a statement saying this order will now allow the company to operate in the safest way possible with 100% vaccination of all guests and crew when sailing from Florida ports.

Winkleman says other cruise lines may follow suit.

"Practically speaking, this was sort of a template for all the other cruise lines that basically says that we are not going to uphold this law or at least the judges in Florida are not going to uphold the law, so if carnival wanted to do it, if Royal Caribbean wanted to do the same thing, they likely could," Winkleman said. 

This Sunday, Norwegian Cruise lines ship is scheduled to leave from Miami. It will mark its first sailing from Florida in over 500 days.

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