Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) appears to have lost his anti-vaccine passport war, for now, at least.
U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen M. Williams approved an injunction Sunday, saying, "public health will be jeopardized" if Norwegian Cruises (NCLH) would be forced to suspend its vaccination requirement due to the DeSantis' law.
DeSantis passed a law blocking the use of vaccine passports, which a cruise company that leaves out of Florida requires of their passengers. Many cruise lines want to protect their crew and passengers, but with a highly contagious virus, there's little that can be done. The industry is already barely staying afloat as it sails through the COVID-19 crisis. The Norwegian company implemented a demand for proof that someone is vaccinated to travel on their ships, a direct violation of the DeSantis order, and a legal battled ensued.
Florida argued that they would be significantly harmed by the use of the vaccine passports, but the judge said that they failed to explain how.
"While Plaintiffs advance substantial unrebutted evidence showing that they are likely to suffer significant financial and reputational harms absent an injunction, Defendant fails to articulate or provide any evidence of harms that the state would suffer if an injunction was entered," said Judge Williams. "And while NCLH has demonstrated that public health will be jeopardized if it is required to suspend its vaccination requirement, Defendant identifies no public benefit from the continued enforcement of the Statute against NCLH."