US Injunction Allows Cruise Line to Ask Passengers About Vaccine Status

A cruise ship line is now free to require proof of coronavirus vaccination from passengers in Florida.  A U.S. federal judge granted Norwegian Cruise Line a preliminary injunction Sunday that enables the line to ask passengers for their vaccine status.  “We welcome today’s ruling that allows us to sail with 100% fully vaccinated guests and crew which we believe is the safest and most prudent way to resume cruise operations amid this global pandemic,” Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., said in a statement.  The injunction overrules an order Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law earlier this year that fined businesses asking for vaccination proof.  There was no immediate response from the governor’s office.  Another U.S. governor said that the law he signed banning mask mandates in his state was a mistake. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that signing the mask ban was an “error.” “Whenever I signed that law, our cases were low, we were hoping that the whole thing was gone, in terms of the virus, but it roared back with the delta variant,” Hutchinson said.Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson stands next to a chart displaying COVID-19 hospitalization data as he speaks at a news conference at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., July 29, 2021.Arkansas has one of the nation’s lowest vaccination rates and has recently reported more than 2,000 daily new infections. One-third of Israel’s seniors — about 420,000 of those age 60 and older — have received a coronavirus booster shot, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday, adding that the figure could reach 500,000 by the end of the day.  Bennett announced the progress of the vaccine campaign, which began 10 days ago and uses the Pfizer vaccine, at a Cabinet meeting.  Israel became a vaccination leader early in the pandemic, with about 5.4 million of its population of 9.3 million people fully vaccinated. Still, with hospitalizations on the rise, almost exclusively with the delta variant, the government offered the third shot and reinstated a mask mandate indoors. With the world a year and a half into the pandemic, the United States, India and Brazil have suffered the most cases of COVID-19 and deaths from the virus by far, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The U.S. has reported more than 35.7 million cases and more than 616,000 deaths. India has reported nearly 32 million cases and nearly 428,000 deaths. Brazil has reported 20.1 million cases and more than 563,000 deaths.  France, Russia and the United Kingdom fill the next three spots with more than 6 million cases each and 112,000 to 162,000 deaths. India, which faced a devastating second wave of the virus earlier this year, said Sunday that it had recorded more than 39,000 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24-hour period. Brazil reported more than 43,000 new cases on Sunday. The U.S. reported just more than 44,000 new cases, all figures according to Johns Hopkins.Neither the U.S. nor any European country has yet authorized booster shots of the vaccine. Last week, the World Health Organization called for a moratorium on discussions of booster shots until more of the global population is vaccinated. In India, just more than 8% of its population has been fully vaccinated. In Brazil, that figure stands at 21%, and the U.S. sits at almost 51%, all according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Coronavirus cases are rising in the U.S., which confirmed an average of 100,000 new infections every day in the last week. Infections have been rising, due to the more contagious delta variant. Frances Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, told ABC’s “This Week” Sunday that the country was failing in its pandemic response. “We should not really have ever got to the place we are,” he said. 202.7 million global COVID cases and 4.2 million deaths were reported Monday, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Some information in this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse. 

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