Florida sues federal government, officials say CDC shuts down cruise industry

Miami-Florida Governor says Sunshine is “counterattacking” the “illegal” one-year closure of the cruise industry.

Governor Ron DeSantis said on Thursday that Florida would file a lawsuit against the Biden administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to “restart” US cruise ships “immediately.” Announced that it requested. .. “

“This is not rational. This is not rational,” DeSantis said at a press conference at the Port of Miami. “I don’t think the federal government has the right to stagnate major industries for more than a year based on little evidence or data,” he said.

Watch the press conference:

The CDC first issued a non-sailing order at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, after the coronavirus outbreak on several vessels. In particular, on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, nearly 700 crew and passenger infections occurred in early 2020, killing seven people.

This order has been extended until November 1, and cruise ships do not allow passengers to enter or leave all US ports.

“Cruise ship operators must not start or continue operations in consultation with HHS / CDC personnel until further notice, unless approved by the USCG,” the order said. I am.

Please read the no-sale order below.

Despite the order, many cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, have announced plans to resume voyages from international ports such as the Bahamas and Bermuda. All passengers over the age of 18 must be vaccinated before boarding.

“People are still going on a cruise. Do you know what they do? Instead of flying to Miami, spending money to stay at a hotel and money to eat at a restaurant before boarding a boat When they fly to the Bahamas, they plan to board a ship from the Bahamas and spend money in the Bahamas. “

The governor says the tourism-industry Miami-Dade County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and sailless orders cost millions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Florida ports. I added that it is.

“We’re not going to sit down while the administration decides to shut down the entire industry,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. “60% of national cruises come from Florida.”

State officials said there was no reason to continue the blockade as all Floridians over the age of 18 were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccine became more widely available, and coronavirus testing increased.

“We are losing tax revenue. People’s lives are at a loss. They are anxious to get back to work,” Moody said.

Earlier this month, the CDC released the latest guidelines for the cruise industry, stating that “all qualified port personnel and travelers (passengers and crew) will be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. I recommend it. “

The governor said cruise ship passengers should not be required to present evidence of COVID-19 vaccination, also known as a “vaccine passport,” a practice banned in Florida earlier this month.

“It’s not necessary. It causes a huge amount of problems,” said Desantis. “I don’t want to limit people based on whether they have been vaccinated.”

The CDC began taking steps to reopen the cruise industry in October when the Cruise Line issued a “Conditional Voyage Order” that set guidelines on how to test and screen COVID-19 crew members. ..

In a speech at Port Canaveral last month, DeSantis urged the federal government and the CDC to lift the ban by June in order to bring Florida’s “crippled” cruise ship industry back into orbit.

“They aren’t doing enough,” DeSantis said Thursday. “So we believe it’s time to prove the rights of the state.”

Just hours before the Governor’s major announcement, Norwegian Cruise Line appealed to passengers on Twitter, “listening to your voice and asking an elected representative to allow you to resume your cruise in the United States. Please. “

The CDC did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

Earlier this week, CDC spokeswoman Jadefurs hinted at a mild resumption of the US cruise industry during the summer, saying in a written statement:

“CDC is working with the cruise industry and port partners to resume cruises according to the step-by-step approach outlined in the Conditional Voyage Order. This goal is for many major cruise ship operators and It is in line with the traveler’s stated desire to resume passenger operations in the United States; hopefully by midsummer, when revenue voyages are restricted. “

This story was originally published by Matt Papaycik on WPTV on Palm Beach.

Florida sues federal government, officials say CDC shuts down cruise industry

Source link Florida sues federal government, officials say CDC shuts down cruise industry

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