Judge rules in favor of Norwegian Cruise Lines, they can require vaccination proof in FL

Ron DeSantis attempting to look contemplative in front of border patrol agents in the background. He's the worst! I got this from his Instagram
Last month a federal judge sided with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s ruling that blocked businesses from requiring vaccine passports. In response, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH) sued the state of Florida, stating that they needed to protect passengers and staff. The verdict is in and U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams has ruled in favor of NCLH. She issued a preliminary ruling stating that barring vaccine passports is possibly unconstitutional. Here are a few highlights from The Hill:

The nearly 60-page preliminary ruling from U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams in the Southern District of Florida said that the state law barring the use of vaccine passports is likely unconstitutional under the First Amendment and jeopardizes public health.

The judge ruled that Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, whom Norwegian filed a lawsuit against over the vaccine passport ban, cannot enforce the law with the cruise line, giving Norwegian the greenlight to carry out its safety measures starting Aug. 15, when the company plans to resume passenger cruises from the Sunshine State.

DeSantis signed legislation in May that banned vaccine passports in the state.

Norwegian praised the ruling in a statement on Sunday, writing that allowing vaccinated guests on board is the “safest vacation experience” to resume sailing.

“The public health environment continues to evolve around the globe and our robust science-backed health and safety protocols, with vaccines at its cornerstone, allow us to provide what we believe is the safest vacation experience for people who long to get back to their everyday lives and explore the world once again,” Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said in a statement.

Daniel Farkas, executive vice president and general counsel for Norwegian, said the lawsuit was filed “in the best interest of the welfare of our guests, crew and communities we visit in an effort to do our part as responsible corporate citizens to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, further spread of COVID-19 as we gradually relaunch our vessels.”

[From The Hill]

These so-called proud Americans are acting as if their freedoms are being taken from them because our government is trying to protect the majority of the population from idiots. It is sad that countries like France are able to implement vaccine passports while we have state governors undermining public health. The French public is being incentivized to get vaccinated. France is also requiring the vaccine passport for international visitors and will hand out $158 fines for those who don’t have proof of vaccination in spaces requiring it. New York City will implement similar measures by mid-September. Apart from NY, I really tired of how the majority of the U.S. is responding to this pandemic. Particularly the leadership in these so-called red states.

How many people in Florida specifically have to die before DeSantis gets his head out of his ass and makes adult decisions to protect his electorate? Florida has been breaking coronavirus case records. The smarter thing to do would be to implement these measures for self-preservation since many of the people dying in Florida would vote for DeSantis in the next election. The only good thing coming out of DeSantis’s terrible leadership is that his popularity in the state is taking a hit. Serves him right. As for the ruling, I am glad that Norwegian Cruises are standing their ground (pun intended) in order to protect their workers and guests.

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59 Responses to “Judge rules in favor of Norwegian Cruise Lines, they can require vaccination proof in FL”

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  1. Ceej says:

    Politicians seem to have successfully fooled people into believing community cooperation is bad and a threat to individual rights.

    I feel for immunocompromised or those unable to get vaccines (and the vaccinated) who will catch Covid as a result of people thinking a community action is some kind of constitutional threat, but I do not feel for someone choosing not to vaccinate who gets seriously ill. Like that right wing radio guy.

    • Lemons says:

      Society is so in trouble. We’re unable to work together. I don’t even think most people care about the “common good” anymore.

      • Darla says:

        Lemons I disagree. I believe liberal-minded people DO care very much about the common good. It’s conservatives. They don’t care. If everyone is to blame no one is responsible so IMO we need to point at the actual guilty parties. And it’s Republicans. Americans who vote Republican don’t care about anyone but themselves and their families. This is no longer something that can be denied.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Darla well said. We should not be afraid to point figures at the guilty parties. Being reluctant to do so lets the republicans off the hook time and again. I did my part for the pandemic – I stayed home, social distanced, wore a mask, got the vaccine – I care about the greater good and doing what I can for others, especially at a time like this. Many of us ARE trying to work together. Let’s be clear about who is refusing to do so.

      • LadyMTL says:

        Spock said “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one” but apparently he’d never met an anti-masker, anti-vaxxer, or even DeSantis.
        I hope that things will get better there (here in Canada we opened the border to fully vaccinated Americans yesterday, so I am crossing my fingers) but at the same time I’m baffled. It’s like…do some people just want this to drag on forever? WTF is happening?

      • Surly Gale says:

        @LadyMTL (Lady Montreal…brilliant! Wish I’d thought of it!). “It’s like…do some people just want this to drag on forever? WTF is happening?”

        FOLLOW THE MONEY…..that’s what’s happening. Who is making money allowing the virus to continue to proliferate (it’s ironic to me that proliferate includes ‘pro life’ term).

        W/you regarding U.S. citizens (we are all North Americans; I just cannot call them ‘Americans” cause I’m pedantic that way) coming to Canada. I’m terrified here in BC because U.S. citizens are pouring into BC….

      • MsIam says:

        Well @Surly Game in order to enter Canada you have to show proof of vaccination and take a COVID test within 72 hours before entering so you should be safe from people crossing legally. I live in a border city and used to go to Canada all the time but I’m not going until this is over. I’m not a fan of taking the COVID test unless I absolutely have no other choice.

    • HoofRat says:

      Might want to skip Alberta, if you’re planning to cross into Canada. We have our own idiot version of DeSantis who is abolishing any COVID prevention measures, such as publicly-funded testing and contact tracing, as of August 16th (hey, if you don’t test, the numbers never go up, right?). I was born and raised here, but as soon as my obligations permit me to leave Florida/Texas North, you won’t see me for dust. Stop killing people, you murderous Conservative asshats!

      • Lady D says:

        Albertans and Americans are flooding into my area right now. I’m in the Okanagan Valley which is all vineyards, lakes, beaches and incredible hot weather. It’s a major tourist draw and the upticking Covid numbers are proving it. BC saw just over 1000 cases in three days, with 60% of them in my area. We are scared and pissed about idiots coming here to vacation. Add in the govt. confiscating motel/hotel rooms and all campsites for people being evacuated because of forest fires, and oh yeah, raging forests fires and it’s just stupid to vacation here now. On the news last night, they showed massive lineups of Americans who can’t wait to get into Canada to vacation. They’re either coming here or they’re flooding Vancouver Island. On our highways there’s 10 cars in a row with Alberta plates constantly. I honestly don’t understand why. I was two weeks post my second covid shot on Saturday, and I’m still wearing a mask in the stores when I have to go, and I’m not alone.

  2. Lemons says:

    France is doing better in implementing these measures…I won’t say the public is doing better by accepting them as we’ve had protests around the country related to our “pass sanitaire.” In any case, I’m glad I’m vaccinated and the spaces that I want to frequent (museums, clubs, concert halls, restaurants, etc.) will be requiring proof of vaccination or proof of a negative Covid test.

    I am embarrassed to say that I had a short-lived Instagram debate with people saying how terrible it was for Obama to have a birthday party. When I said, you can get vaccinated and go to events like this as well, someone responded with their “freedumbs” and a violation of their constitutional rights. When I asked what rights, they went silent. I swear, people forget that 1) we were all unvaccinated not too long ago, but some of us took the necessary precautions and understood why we were doing it and 2) we are still in a pandemic, so if you don’t want to get vaccinated, you should already know what to do to protect yourself.

    • Lemons says:

      Oh, she said her rights were…”Not being able to do the same things as me.” These people, man…I’m just gobstopped.

  3. Liz version 700 says:

    Thank God. The coronavirus initially entered MD through folks returning from a cruise (at least they think this is what happened). This affects the entire country. Forcing cruise lines to take unvaccinated people who live all over the country and can then help vaccinated folks spread it even more…. This makes all of us safer.

    What DeSantis is putting the children of Florida through, particularly trying to force schools to not have masks mandated…it should Be considered crime that removes him from office! The man seems to be enjoying the body count!

    • Chrissy says:

      Let’s call it a Crime Against Humanity. Also, it also appears that he doesn’t care that he seems to want to kill off his own constituents/ voters and drive away anyone who wants to do the right thing for their fellow Floridians. I wonder if some people will think twice about going to Florida this winter to avoid the cesspool of Covid that he’s enabling.

  4. FancyPants says:

    I read this morning that the number of people who have died of COVID in Florida now exceeds Desantis’s margin of victory. I think he has dug himself into hole he doesn’t know how to get out of now, but I don’t feel sorry for him, only his victims and every school child in Florida right now.

  5. Becks1 says:

    i’m so glad for this ruling. DeSantis is just out of control at this point. I was seeing headlines this morning about how he’s threatening that the state BoE could withhold salaries from district officials who mandate mask polices. It’s like he just wants people to die at this point. I don’t think there’s any other explanation for it. It’s horrible.

    We do not have a vaccine mandate in my state at this point* but mask mandates are coming back in some counties and when I was out and about this past weekend, I noticed that 90% of the people were wearing masks again (local Walmart, library, places like that). A month ago there would have been around 40-50% wearing masks. So even though my county doesn’t have a mask mandate, it seems most are just being smart about this. My BoE is meeting tomorrow night to discuss mask mandates for the schools and they’re a bit Florida-esque, so I’m not hopeful. But I have told my boys to prepare to wear masks for the school year, at least until they’re able to be vaccinated.

    *My governor did announce last week that vaccines will be required for a large segment of state employees and nursing home employees, and we also have a ton of federal employees so a federal mandate for those employees will make a difference as well.

    • Jennifer says:

      I am seriously wondering if Florida and Texas are having some “who can kill off the most constituents” contest. It sounds like a bad SNL sketch.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Jennifer, as a Texas resident, I hear you. Abbot is the worst governor in the US, followed closely be DeSantis. Texas opened too early, eliminating the masks mandates, removing the power of state mayors from imposing mask mandates, and schools that require vaccinated pupils/staff cut from federal assistance. Any businesses submitting a state bid, will be disqualified IF the company requires employees to be vaccinated. Abbot also stated that he would follow the science, but we are at January levels and not ONE preventable initiative has been reinstated. Plus, Abbot has opened up PO’s to pull over suspicious vehicles for illegal immigrants. So we are now targeting being arrest for driving while brown. I cannot wait for him to be gone forever!!

  6. Dandun says:

    I just really dont understand why so many republicans are trying to kill as many of their voters as possible.

    Im Irish and here we have a Covid Cert that shows you are vaccinated or recovered to be able to dine indoors. There was some small scale protests about it but for the most part it is working well. We are also lucky with how high a vaccine uptake we have

    • Jennifer says:

      We don’t get it here either. The Republicans are a death cult now.

    • mosi says:

      I’m in Spain, in Catalonia, the vaccine uptake is very high, yet the cases are soaring. Seems like the tourists, even with precautions, are not helping things. Honestly it feels like I will get it at one point either way, I’m freshly double vaxed, loosing hope to avoid the contagion at one point, feels like I’m the only person still trying to avoid long covid.

  7. SusanRagain says:

    On a cruise ship for days/weeks at a time with a lot of people in close quarters?
    Yes. Both doses. Common sense to me.

    Back when the polio vax came out where people refusing to be vax?
    Measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox were all standard shots when I was a kid.
    How in the hell we got to be a nation of vax deniers and C19 pandemic turned political issue not health issue is truly beyond my understanding. Are we getting stupider as a nation?

    Don’t come at me, I’ve still got plenty of relatives who could easily win the Darwin award on any given day. I just am so tired of the stupidity. All day stupid.

    • equality says:

      Interesting article about vaccination resistance. I am glad that there were those brave enough to take vaccines for polio and small pox, especially and grateful to those willing to be test subjects for covid vaccines. With even vaccinated people spreading the delta variant, I don’t think I would take a cruise now even being vaccinated.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ SusanRagain, it’s not solely declaration and of their “freedoms” in jeopardy, it’s the actual selfishness, out right stupidity and the audacity to verbally and physically abuse healthcare workers!!! I am appalled at how horrific healthcare workers are treated PLUS the utter refusal to be vaccinated is causing our fourth wave now. HC workers are exhausted and have been retiring at record levels.

      Look, my husband is in private practice and they have to fight everyday with people refusing to wear a mask, refuse to follow testing requirements and abusing everyone due to their FREEDOM. We never closed up his practice due to the fact that his patients would have gone blind, but instead they are hateful, vicious people who only care about themselves.

      Though, I am extremely happy about the Norwegian cruise lines. I could not imagine a worse case scenario for a super spreader event, globally too.

  8. Anna says:

    I thank god every day I live in New England. I’ll shovel snow every day if it means i don’t have to deal with Desantis and his ilk.

    • Molly says:

      Same! That would not fly in NE. We have idiots here but basically most people wear masks when needed. I’m in FL visiting relatives for a week and nobody…I mean nobody but me is wearing a mask. Kids, old people, you name it. You’d never know the huge variant surge is happening here. It’s bizarre. I’ve had people nudge their friends and point at me.

  9. Jessica says:

    There’s a reason his nickname is DeathSantis. And as a resident, I really don’t understand what his goal here is- the people who have survived this are certainly not going to be voting for him. Watching the news about the masks in schools was a trip. All the people arguing against masks and crying about freedom were old! Hardly any of them had school aged kids. It’s ridiculous. This state is awful. It doesn’t care about its residents, it doesn’t care about its environment, and it’s showing it doesn’t care that much about tourists either (aka, the tax base).

    • Korra says:

      At this point, his antics indicate that he is more interested in his possible run for president in 2024 and attracting the national MAGA crowd. What isn’t getting reported enough is that a lot of his fundraising dollars are coming from out of state donors and that he spends a good amount time at out of state fundraising events too.

      I also think he backed himself into a corner with all this posturing and playing to the MAGA base that he feels it is politically advantageous for him to ride out this wave, letting people just get sick and even die, than admit wrongdoing. But he is a sociopath, so empathy isn’t guiding him here.

    • cassandra says:

      His goal is herd immunity via infection as opposed to vaccine. It’s so gross.

      I also agree that he’s at a political impasse. If he does the right thing the MAGAs will turn on him.

      I plan on doing everything in my (limited) power for him to not be re-elected governor

  10. Lizzie says:

    IIRC the first judge said there were too many jobs in FL depending on the cruise line so he sided with Deathsentence. He did not address there will be no cruise industry if they cannot assure guests they that everyone was vaccinated. I’m glad for this ruling but I hope the cruise line makes plans to move to another state.

    • MsIam says:

      Unfortunately, unless you cruise out of NY or CA all the other states are red states too. I don’t think the Carolina governors are as crazily anti COVID restrictions as Death Sentence though I’m not sure.

      • fluffy_bunny says:

        SC’s governor is a nutter who is referred to as Foghorn Leghorn. He made it illegal for schools to mandate masks. Charleston is sometimes a cruise port. I’m in NC and our governor is a democrat but I’m not sure if any of our ports can handle cruise ships.

      • Becks1 says:

        Maryland isn’t really a red state – yes we have a R governor but he’s been one of the better ones in the country (dem or R) about this pandemic – and we have a cruise port in Baltimore but the problem is we can’t get the big ships because of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

  11. Rhoda Cowboy says:

    Gov. DeathSentence is not only a highly educated moron, he’s also a danger to the adults and children of Florida.

  12. MellyMel says:

    I can’t wait to vote this fool out of office!

  13. Merricat says:

    I hope DeSantis faces a reckoning equal to the damage he’s caused, and I hope it happens sooner than later, and in full view of the public.

    • Lady D says:

      Still waiting for Trump’s comeuppance. I want to see him fall, I want to watch him lose everything just like he cost so many contractors, employees and average people everything. Just guessing here, but I bet a lot of Americans have the same need.

    • Lucy says:

      From your lips to God’s ears. I would also like to add governor Abbott to that list. He’s pulling the same moves as this fool. My kids are starting school next week and I’m terrified. At least Dallas ISD has announced they’re defying the ban on mask mandates. Maybe more can follow suit.

    • Dude says:

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news but he is wildly poplar here (Florida girl here). I cannot stand him, didn’t/will never vote for him, but I’m not kidding when I say he is absolutely beloved here. It’s like a hero worship situation. Shirts, beer koozies, flags…. It would be hysterical if it wasn’t disgusting. I live in a big metro area and work all over the state… make no mistake this guy has a golden touch. This should make us all scared.

      • Jayna says:

        You speak the truth. He’s mini me Trump, and they love him here in Florida for it. He will win the re-election for governor. But make no mistake, this twit could be the next POTUS in 2024..

  14. RoyalBlue says:

    Thank God for common sense. It is a progressive step to request this proof, even if not foolproof, as it gives one more level of comfort and protection to all.

  15. Scal says:

    Meanwhile here in Texas we have some brave school districts standing up to abbott and mandating masks in schools. There will be lawsuits but I’m glad they’ve stepped up

    Meanwhile my husband works for the state so even though he wants to mandate for his office he can’t. And about half his coworkers run around like pandemicnisnover

    • Giddy says:

      Yes! The school board here in Austin voted last night to require masks! Houston and Dallas have already done so. This is in defiance of our idiot Governor Abbott who is threatening the withholding of state funds. I can’t wrap my brain around these politicians who are choosing danger and possible death for children. Our hospitals are full, and yesterday Abbott had to request help from medical personnel in other states, yet he still fights against protection of our children. With their absolute refusal to accept science I consider DeSantis and Abbott to be murderers.

      • Lucy says:

        I can’t wait to vote Abbott out. I don’t care who replaces him, a bowl of spoiled oatmeal would be a better leader who does less damage. I want the Democratic ads to just be dearth counts from the pandemic after the vaccine was available, and the ERCOT nightmare. And whoever runs against Ted Cruz to run footage of him hiding at the airport in February.

      • Scal says:

        You would think being in a medical accident would make the man more empathetic toward people, but nope. Still as selfish as ever,

        AND Texas isn’t collecting data on testing/cases at the state level or reporting to the CDC or the other major national data sites. Everything I find out is from Houston TMC charts, so anything the state says about transmission or cases is just made up nonsense.

      • Jayna says:

        Complete insanity.

  16. IMARA219 says:

    This man is straight evil, he was discussing docking pay of school districts who have a Mask Mandate. Like he wants to withhold monies/salaries/budgets for any school district willing to institute a mandatory mask policy.

  17. girl_ninja says:

    How Republican Governors have lead their constituents during this pandemic is criminal. I truly believe they and Trump are the MAIN reason for the trouble we are having with this new variant.

    Even if we get through the Delta Variant. They’ll mess it up again and we’ll get an Omega-Alpha Variant.

  18. LMR says:

    This is the same ass-clown who would not let sick cruise passengers disembark in his state at the beginning of the pandemic.

    And now that the judge sided against him, he is going to waste Florida’s time and money to appeal the ruling. It would be fun to watch him lose again if people’s lives weren’t at stake. And I say that as someone who always considered herself a libertarian.

    • Rnot says:

      The idea that ‘your right to swing your fist ends at my nose’ translates pretty easily to breathing germs into my airspace. Libertarians recognize that pollution infringes on the property rights of others. A great libertarian approach would be a federal law that gives hospitals the right to turn people away if they can’t show proof of vaccination or a documented medical exemption. Infuriatingly, many of these same anti-vaxxers are super concerned about “illegals” clogging up the ERs and taking resources away from the more “deserving” patients.

      • LMR says:

        I totally agree, Rnot. I do realize that freedom is to be used wisely. There are times society needs to step in to stop individual behavior from harming the greater good.

  19. Golly Gee says:

    “ The smarter thing to do would be to implement these measures for self-preservation since many of the people dying in Florida would vote for DeSantis in the next election.”
    This was my thought too, but I read an article in the Guardian about how Jared Kushner and his cohorts wanted to let Covid spread because they thought the Blue states would be hit the hardest killing off a good number of voting Democrats. But now their propagation of conspiracy theories and falsehoods are coming back to bite them in the ass.

  20. Golly Gee says:

    If a new variant is created because of DeSantis, Jim Acosta wants that variant to be named after him.

  21. Jayna says:

    I live in such a stupid state. It’s an embarassment. DeSantis is evil.

  22. RavenA206 says:

    I live in Florida. There is a reason that this idiot does not care about killing off his voting base and that is because he cheated and stole this election, so he fully intends to do the same going forward. He is evil, dangerous and stupid and people here love him for it. Please spare a tbought for those of us trapped here with him and his Maga cult worshippers. As bad as you think Florida is, trust me, for BIPOC, it is worse. I do not have the money to move or else I would have long before they decided to kill as many people as possible with Covid.

  23. Veronica S. says:

    It was insane that it was even an argument. It’s a private business with potential international contamination risk. There’s no reason one state should have the power to affect everybody else like this.

    My brutally pragmatic view on this is that if I were a Democratic/Independent political party in the South, I’d be looking at these COVID deaths to vaccination numbers and seeing a potential opening to act in the midterms. The majority of people getting vaccinated are not Republicans/right wing. That means they’re basically killing their own people. Use what advantage you can, y’all.

  24. jferber says:

    New Development: De Santis requested ventilators from the federal government (therefore Biden) and Biden sent them earlier this week. Now the asshole De Santis is DENYING he ever requested the ventilators from Biden (his possible foe in the 2024 elections). Is Biden’s bigger because he has the power to send ventilators? Or is De Santis’ bigger because he claims he never asked? Holy fucking hell. He’s having a pissing contest with Biden that he’s man enough to allow thousands of his constituents to die horrific deaths, “proving” that he should be president instead of Biden. Because the people must die. My head is exploding and I wish De Santis’ would, too.