The cruise line resumed operations on Sunday – 18 months after being closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All guests and staff should now be vaccinated.
CEO Frank Del Rio told Yahoo Finance he wanted other companies to follow Norwegian’s lead and also impose vaccine mandates. He said the lack of a national vaccine mandate is a failure of leadership.
“Our leadership has failed us,” said Mr. Del Rio.
“Can you imagine if 700,000 people died from something other than Covid, the outrage that there would be, what government would do to stop this? And this government, whether we’re talking local, state or federal – and I’m not talking about Republicans, I’m not talking about Democrats, I’m talking about government, ”he added.
Norwegian Cruise Lines has had to go to court to fight heads of state in order to impose its own mandate.
Mr DeSantis banned vaccine passports in April, rendering businesses and other entities unable to enforce vaccination warrants. The cruise line won a battle in federal court to be allowed to use vaccine passports, but the state of Florida is now appealing the decision.
“It’s more than weird. It’s shameful, ”Del Rio told Yahoo. “I mean, come on, give up. This is a pandemic we are talking about, people are dying every day, Florida is now the epicenter of the epicenter. What does it take for common sense to prevail?
The cruise line also has a 74-point protocol in place to protect guests and staff from the virus, but Mr Del Rio has criticized leadership at the national and state levels.
“Here is a state that relies on tourism, it is the number one industry. And the number one priority of any hotel business is to ensure the safety of its guests, ”he said, adding that he was confused by how“ the leaders of this country have not stood up to the realities. of this pandemic, to require vaccinations ”.
In an email to The independent, DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw said: “Vaccines have been shown to protect most people vaccinated against serious illness and death. Vaccines do not stop vaccinated people from contracting and spreading COVID-19.
“There is no scientific or logical argument for vaccine passports. Just because an individual presents proof of vaccination does not mean that an individual cannot spread COVID-19, ”she added. “In addition, the vaccine passport requirements do not recognize the reality of the immunity conferred on infection… The law prohibiting vaccine passports does not prevent any company from taking other measures to protect public health, such as as testing. “