Federal judges should decide on the ban on cruise ships from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A federal judge will rule on Florida’s injunction in the state’s lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Conditional Sailing Order, which has suspended cruise lines amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In its complaint, Florida alleged that the CDC’s order replaces the department’s authority. State lawyers have stated that the CDC has not yet put in place comprehensive security guidelines that allow cruise lines to potentially resume operations. As a result, it has been difficult for cruise lines to meet federal government standards.
With most cruises suspended, Florida claims to have suffered financial damage by paying millions of dollars to unemployed people associated with the port and cruise industry, along with deceased tax revenues and lost port dues.
The lawsuit, according to WTSP.com, was announced in April by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
“I am pleased to announce that Florida is striking back today on behalf of the tens of thousands of Floridians whose livelihoods depend on the viability of an open cruise industry,” DeSantis said at the time.
Pictured: then-rep. Rob DeSantis, current Governor of Florida. Image via Flickr / User: Gage Skidmore. (CCA-BY-2.0).
Governor DeSantis claimed that CDC rules did not prevent people from traveling or sailing – instead, DeSantis said, people who wanted to take cruises left port destinations like the Bahamas.
“Instead of flying to Miami, spending money to stay at our hotels, spending money to eat at our restaurants before getting on the ship, they’re going to be flying to the Bahamas,” DeSantis claimed. “And they’ll get on the ships from the Bahamas and spend the money in the Bahamas.”
The lawsuit came shortly after Governor DeSantis signed a law banning companies from requesting evidence of coronavirus vaccinations at cruise ports across the state.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tentative plan set guidelines that 98% of the cruise crew must be vaccinated and 95% of passengers must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
These instructions, according to WTSP, would enable the ships to return to sea in July.
John Murray, the CEO of Florida’s Port Canaveral, said the order made little sense – both because many potential cruise passengers have already been vaccinated and because there are no similar restrictions on domestic travel in the US.
“I can get on an Uber, go to the airport, change trains in Atlanta, fly to Las Vegas, go to a casino, play at the tables every day, eat in restaurants every day, never leave the hotel, go back to a restaurant Plane, take another flight to Atlanta, come home, take another Uber, what’s the difference in that and get on a cruise ship except the cruise ship is a closed bubble. They were all tested before moving on, ”said Murray.
The Central District of Florida is expected to make a decision in the coming days.
The district court judge will rule on Florida’s lawsuit against CDC to suspend cruises
The judge is due to rule on Florida’s lawsuit against CDC over cruise lines