This content was published on April 06 2021 – 00:01
06. April 2021 – 00:01
The Miami-based Norwegian cruise line controller said on Monday (5) that it will request proof of vaccination from all passengers and crew in order to be able to dock in US ports, despite the Florida governor banning the requirement of this documentation.
“With mandatory vaccinations and strict health and safety protocols in place, we believe we can offer a safe and healthy vacation experience,” said Frank Del Rio, president of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., in a note.
Norwegian Holding, which together with Carnival and Royal Caribbean is one of the three largest cruise lines in the world, is the first to announce this move in the hope that US federal authorities will authorize their cruises this summer.
Royal Caribbean announced in March that it would request proof of vaccination from crew and passengers over the age of 18 and that it hoped to resume some Caribbean routes in June.
Cruises were suspended on March 14, 2020, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a “banning navigation order” to prevent the spread of covid-19, although several ships already had deadly outbreaks on board .
Some cruise ships returned to Europe and other regions last year, but the US ban remains in effect.
The Norwegian company, which operates Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, explained that it sent a letter to CDC on Monday detailing its plan to restart operations.
The company “shares the CDC’s view that vaccines are the vehicle by which Americans will return to their daily lives,” said Del Rio.
In an October “Conditional Navigation Order” updated in April, the CDC sets out a roadmap for cruise ships operating in U.S. waters to resume navigation. Among other things, vaccination of passengers and crew is recommended.
In requiring proof of vaccination from all passengers and crew, Norwegian said it expects the CDC to authorize its cruise ships to sail from U.S. ports as of July 4.
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis banned the use of so-called “vaccination passports” in this state last Friday. DeSantis also prevented private companies from requiring any kind of document from their clients to prove their vaccination, under the risk of losing contracts or resources from the State.
“We look forward to working with Governor DeSantis to restart our operations at Florida ports,” a Norwegian carrier told AFP.
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