Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises) has filed a lawsuit against Florida's Health Minister to refute the state's law prohibiting companies from requiring proof of vaccination.
In April, Florida passed a law that prohibits companies from restricting access to their services based on vaccination status. Vaccination is a central part of NCLH's return-to-service plan – as are several other cruise lines.
In its complaint, NCLH explains that it faces a dilemma:
"NCLH will find itself either on the wrong side of health and safety and the current federal legal framework, or on the wrong side of Florida law."
NCLH's motion, therefore, seeks an interim injunction to allow its three brands to resume cruises from Florida while requiring the complete vaccination of passengers.
Reluctantly in court
In a statement published on the Regent Seven Seas Cruises website, NCLH regrets that it has not been able to find a reasonable and mutually acceptable solution with the State of Florida that would have allowed it to require documents confirming the vaccination status of passengers before boarding.
"Despite the ongoing global pandemic and the accelerated spread of the Delta variant, Florida continues to prohibit us from requiring vaccine documentation that we believe would allow us to resume navigation in the safest way possible."
"We believe Florida's ban goes against federal law, public health and science, and is not in the best interest of the well-being of our customers, crew, and the communities we visit. That is why we reluctantly turned to the courts for redress. »
Saying it firmly believes in the merits of its claims, the company says it will not make any further comments outside the court.
Health and safety first
NCLH adds that its actions reflect its commitment to resume navigation in accordance with its strong, science-based SailSAFE health and safety protocols, the cornerstone of which is the requirement for vaccination.
"Our 100% guest and crew vaccination policy is consistent and in place without problems in every port we sail in the world, with the exception of Florida," NCLH adds.
The company mentions that this situation is very problematic since this state, where it has been installed since its creation in 1966, is "the world capital of cruises"...
The company reiterates that it is not happy to have to take this legal action – which was its "last resort". But if this moves forward, it's because nothing is more important "than the health and safety of our customers, our crews, and the communities we visit."
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