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Norwegian Cruise In A Legal Battle With Surgeon General Of Florida

The Norwegian Cruise line is ready to set sails in August after 15 months with no business amounting up to billions of dollars in loss. But before that, the company is in troubled waters with the Florida government as the line filed a complaint against the surgeon general of the state, Scott Rivkees on Tuesday.

The cruise line is planning to start its business with a 100% vaccination policy. All the members aboard will have to be vaccinated to cruise in the ship through October 31. But this policy, if enforced, can set the company back $5000 per person in Florida as according to the governor of the state, Ron DeSantis, "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."

The case was filed against Dr. Rivkees in the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Florida because the company understands that he is the only person who can enforce the ban. The company argues that according to the Constitution, Congress has the sole authority to enforce interstate laws of business.

On August 15, the company is sailing for the Caribbean from Florida, the location which amounted to almost 60% of the company's revenue in 2019. According to CDC, the line can alter their requirement to 95% vaccinated people to not break the law but the company is adamant that the super-spreader Delta variant of the virus should not be taken lightly, and therefore proof of complete vaccination will be required.

Frank Del Rio, the CEO of the cruise operator said to the court that the liner will not be able to cruise in Florida if the ban is not lifted. Its plan to sail from Miami will be completely disrupted and the company will face $4 million in loss every day if the ban stays in place. "If we do not abandon our Florida operations entirely, then NCLH will have to revise its operations in ways that are costlier, less safe, less appealing for our passenger base, less likely to meet our commitments to [the] CDC, and are beneath our brand and the quality of experience passengers have come to expect from NCLH," said Del Rio.

Royal Caribbean Group has altered its requirement to suit the state law but the line will charge unvaccinated people with additional fees. In Carnival Cruise, the unvaccinated individuals will require travel insurance before setting sails from Florida on July 31.

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