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Florida, Norwegian Cruise Line Fight Over Site Of ‘Vaccine Passport’ Challenge

August 2, 2021

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and the state of Florida are battling about which court should hear a challenge to the state’s ban on so-called “vaccine passports,” with the cruise operator fighting an attempt to move the case out of South Florida.

Miami-based U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams is scheduled to hear arguments Friday in Norwegian’s request for a preliminary injunction against the vaccine-passport ban, which would prevent the cruise line from requiring customers to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

But Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration last month filed a motion to move the case to the federal Middle District of Florida, where Tampa-based U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday has backed the state in another lawsuit challenging Centers for Disease Control and Prevention restrictions on the cruise-ship industry.

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