Tag Archives: requiring

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is suing over the law that prohibits companies from requiring customers and employees to give documentation of Covid vaccination

(CNN) — Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is suing Florida’s surgeon general over the state’s law that prohibits companies from requiring customers and employees to provide documentation of Covid-19 vaccination status.

According to the complaint filed Tuesday, NCLH says the lawsuit is a “last resort” because Florida had indicated it would prevent the company from “safely and soundly resuming passenger cruise operations” next month. It described the state law as an “anomalous, misguided intrusion.”

CNN has reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment.

The NCLH complaint names Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees in his capacity as “the responsible state official.”

In April, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order banning the use of Covid-19 passports in the state. The order prohibited any government entity from issuing vaccine passports and blocks businesses from requiring any such documentation.
Senate Bill 2006 was signed into law on May 3, making that executive order official. “In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision,” DeSantis said.

The cruise line, though, wants documentation that all passengers and crew members have been fully vaccinated.

“The upshot places NCLH in an impossible dilemma as it prepares to set sail from Florida: NCLH will find itself either on the wrong side of health and safety and the operative federal legal framework, or else on the wrong side of Florida law,” the complaint says.

NCLH is set to resume cruises from Florida on August 15 “in a way that will be safe, sound, and consistent with governing law,” the complaint says, citing regulations set by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The risk of transmission of COVID-19 among the unvaccinated in the close quarters of cruise ships coupled with the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing the spread of COVID19 and in reducing the deaths caused by COVID-19 makes transmission of information about COVID-19 vaccines a matter of life and death,” the complaint says.

NCLH is asking the court to suspend Florida’s prohibition, according to the lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

In May, NCLH CEO Frank Del Rio said Florida’s law could cause the company to move its ships elsewhere.

“At the end of the day, cruise ships have motors, propellers and rudders, and God forbid we can’t operate in the state of Florida for whatever reason, then there are other states that we do operate from, and we can operate from the Caribbean for a ship that otherwise would have gone to Florida,” he said during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

The CEO described the issue over the Covid regulations as a “classic state versus federal government issue.” He added, “Lawyers believe that federal law applies.”

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. operates three cruise lines: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

CNN’s Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.

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Gov. Greg Abbott: Texas businesses will be forbidden from requiring proof of vaccination

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas is now open 100% — without any restrictions or limitations or requirements on businesses.

In a Monday tweet, Abbott — who has fiercely pushed for opening businesses during the pandemic — said he would sign legislation prohibiting businesses in the state from requiring COVID-19 vaccine “passports” or any other information.

Abbott said back in April that he wouldn’t allow government-mandated proof of vaccination cards in order to travel.

“Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,” he said in a video posted online. “We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”

Abbott has recently been the subject of nationwide attention, due to other bills he’s signed into law this legislative session: namely one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.

Senate Bill 8, also known as the Texas “heartbeat” bill, prohibits abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat — which can be as early as six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant.

‘Vaccine passports’

While the concept of a “vaccine passport” may be new to most Americans, such documents already exist.

The “passport” to prove yellow fever vaccination is technically called a certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis (ICVP), according to Frommers. It’s been around since 1959 and is commonly referred to as a “Carte Jaune,” or “Yellow Card.”

The certificate is required to be shown at border crossings, especially when travelers are coming from places where yellow fever is common.

Travelers out of South America, Africa, India and Asia all likely have to show their ICVPs, Frommers says.

Arguments in favor of “vaccine passports” include ensuring travel safety and helping encourage travel to skittish customers. Arguments against include violations of privacy and of personal freedom.

Some countries are already requiring such documentation, including Israel, which requires a “green passport” — to verify that someone has been vaccinated and/or recovered from COVID-19.

Author: Russell Falcon
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin