Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings sues Florida over vaccine law

Norwegian Cruise Lines filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida, saying it is unable to operate cruises safely without taking steps to make sure passengers and crew are vaccinated.

It has taken the action as a 'last resort,' it says.

Under Florida's controversial law, businesses can be fined $5,000 every time they ask a customer to prove that they've been vaccinated.

"The State of Florida has indicated that it is otherwise preventing (NCL) from safely and soundly resuming passenger cruise operations from Miami, Florida….in the way that this cruise line has determined will be best for all concerned -- with the benefit of documentation confirming that all of its passengers and crew have been fully vaccinated," the lawsuit said.

Florida isn't backing down.

"This Administration will not tolerate such widespread discrimination. Therefore, Norwegian faces a $5,000 fine from whom they demand a vaccination status," said Christina Pushaw, the governor's press secretary.

NCLH CEO Frank Del Rio had already threatened to pull ships out of Florida if they were not allowed to freely ask for proof of vaccinations.

There are other states that we do operate from, and we can operate from the Caribbean for a ship that otherwise would have gone to Florida," Del Rio said.

NCL's first cruise from Miami is scheduled to sail in a month which puts the company in an 'impossible dilemma.'

"NCLH will find itself either on the wrong side of health and safety and the operative federal legal framework, or else on the wrong side of Florida law," the suit said.

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