Despite Florida banning COVID-19 vaccine passports, the Associated Press states that Norwegian Cruise Lines (which is based out of Miami) will require its passengers to be vaccinated for coronavirus anyway when their ships start sailing in August.
The cruise line might be able to require it for passengers who sail from non-Florida ports, like those in Louisiana, but Florida’s statute is pretty straightforward and even Texas (another state where Norwegian ports are located) has disapproved of such a requirement. Also, the Sunshine State’s governor, Ron DeSantis, has said he will not back down from enforcing the ban (good for him).
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines tried to call DeSantis’ bluff, but (thankfully) the company backed away after the governor stood firm. Norwegian Cruise Lines initially wanted to only allow vaccinated customers on their ships but, shortly after DeSantis signed the COVID-19 passports ban into law, the company then announced they were going to avoid Florida.
However, if Norwegian does end up avoiding Florida (and maybe even Texas), it will be difficult since doing so would cost the company lots of business. Despite most most cruise providers requiring immunizations, the vaccine mandate will result in lots of customers patronizing cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, who do not require them. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and it is doubtful Norwegian will win.
Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay