According to a list released by The Orlando Sentinel, Disney Cruise Line and other carriers are being looked at by the Florida Department of Health for possible violations when it comes to making requirements about COVID-19 vaccinations.
Disney Cruise Line is among over 100 potential violators of the COVID-19 vaccine passport law in Florida, a law that went into effect on September 16, but that is currently being disputed in the court system. It is the Florida Department of Health that is tasked with enforcing the law at this time. When the department finds a violation, it is also tasked with imposing fines of $5,000 per offense.
At this time, Disney Cruise Line joins other cruise lines on the list of possible offenders–those “under review” by the department. Other lines include Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, each of which operates homeports in the state of Florida.
Norwegian Cruise Line currently has a federal court order on its side that is preventing the state of Florida from imposing fines for any alleged violations made by the Miami-Dade County-based organization, which is good news for Disney Cruise Line and its competitors, as the Florida Department of Health is holding on enforcing the law and imposing fines on any of the other cruise lines that are currently listed as possible violators of the law until there is an outcome from Norwegian’s scenario.
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When Disney Cruise Line began operations again in Florida, it did not impose a vaccine requirement. However, since The Bahamas announced that all cruise ship passengers aged 12 and older must be fully vaccinated in order for a ship to be granted port entry in The Bahamas, the line was forced to impose the vaccine requirement since its itineraries include The Bahamas as a port of call.
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At this time, it is unclear when a decision will be reached in Norwegian’s federal case, and until that time, fines are not being imposed by Florida, but it’s likely that the outcome of that case will shape the immediate outcome of this scenario. It’s also possible that the other cruise lines named as possible violators will do the same thing and file in federal court in response to this situation.