Norwegian Cruise Line, which has sued the state of Florida over is ban on asking passengers for proof of vaccination, has won an injunction from a Federal District Judge prohibiting Florida from enforcing the law or fining the cruise line for asking.
Norwegian had planned to sail all-vaccinated cruises—100% of crew and 95% of passengers—starting August 15. The law, passed at the request of Gov. Ron DeSantis, imposes fines of $5000 per passenger for asking. The state says it is protecting the rights of those who don't want to be vaccinated, the cruise line's suit claims that the ban violates the First Amendment by imposing a government limit on free speech.
In her ruling, running to almost 60 pages, Judge Kathleen Williams said that Florida failed to “provide a valid evidentiary, factual, or legal predicate” for banning requests for vaccination proof. Williams said the cruise company “has demonstrated that public health will be jeopardized if it is required to suspend its vaccination requirement.”
The suit will still go to trial, but in the meantime, the cruise line will be able to follow its intended vaccination rules, which seem all the more critical in view of the spread of the Delta variant.