A federal judge on Sunday granted Norwegian Cruise Line’s request for a preliminary injunction, temporarily allowing the company to require proof of vaccination from passengers despite a Florida law that bans businesses from doing so.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office said in an emailed statement on Monday that it plans to appeal the ruling. Mr. DeSantis signed a state law in May that set fines for businesses requiring customers to provide proof of vaccination.

Norwegian’s next cruise ship to sail from Florida is set for Aug. 15, out of Miami. In a statement on Sunday, the company said the ruling would allow it to “operate in the safest way possible.”

“We welcome today’s ruling that allows us to sail with 100 percent fully vaccinated guests and crew, which we believe is the safest and most prudent way to resume cruise operations amid this global pandemic,” said Frank Del Rio, the president and chief executive.

In the order, Judge Kathleen Williams of U.S. District Court noted that scientific research shows that “cruise lines are hotbeds for Covid-19 transmission.” She also cited the potential for the cruise line to suffer financially if Norwegian was forced to cancel trips or reroute around Florida.

Judge Williams wrote that the “defendant fails to articulate or provide any evidence of harms that the state would suffer if an injunction was entered,” and added that Norwegian “has demonstrated that public health will be jeopardized if it is required to suspend its vaccination requirement.”

A preliminary injunction generally will stay in effect until there is a final ruling in a lawsuit.

The judge’s order came as coronavirus cases have risen sharply in Florida. Over the past two weeks, cases have increased 84 percent and hospitalizations have doubled, according to New York Times data.


Source From Nytimes

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