Florida has filed a lawsuit against the federal government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demanding that cruise ships be allowed to set sail again. Cruise lines have been under a no-sail order since March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the no-sail order is "based on very little evidence and very little data." He added that the continued no-sail order is devastating to the economy in Florida.
"We must allow our cruise liners and their employees to get back to work and safely set sail again," DeSantis said. "To be clear, no federal law authorizes the CDC to indefinitely impose a nationwide shutdown of an entire industry. This lawsuit is necessary to protect Floridians from the federal government's overreach and resulting economic harm to our state."
DeSantis said that if the CDC does not lift the order, cruise lines will find other ports outside of the U.S. to dock their ships.
"People are going to cruise one way or another. The question is are we going to do it out of Florida, which is the number one place to do it in the world, or are they going to be doing it out of the Bahamas or other locations?" DeSantis said.
Royal Caribbean recently announced they would be resuming operations in the Bahamas, and the president of Carnival Cruise Lines suggested they might pull their ships out of U.S. ports if the no-sail order isn't lifted soon.
Last week, the CDC updated its guidance for cruise lines which requires them "to establish agreements at ports where they intend to operate, implement routine testing of crew, and develop plans incorporating vaccination strategies to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19 by crew and passengers." The guidance did not provide any information about when the no-sail order would be lifted.
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