The Governor of Florida has sued the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the Biden administration for “singling out” the cruise industry and costing the US state billions.
According to the lawsuit, Governor Ron DeSantis is demanding the CDC allows cruise ships to resume sailing immediately.
“The CDC does not have the authority to issue year-and-a-half-long nationwide lockdowns of entire industries,” the documents read.
“And even if it did, its actions here are arbitrary and capricious and otherwise violate the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).”
The lawsuit is the latest development in the struggle between the cruise industry and the CDC over whether cruise ships should be able to resume in the US.
Cruise ships have been barred from sailing in US waters for just over a year and, according to the lawsuit, has pushed the cruise industry to the brink of financial ruin.
“The cruise industry has been singled out, and unlike the rest of America, prevented from reopening,” the lawsuit claims.
“Despite the demonstrated success of reasonable COVID-19 safety protocols in Europe and Asia, the cruise industry in the United States has been subject to a nationwide lockdown since March 2020.”
The document labels the CDC’s actions “unlawful” and claims the industry should be able to restart with “reasonable safety protocols” or Florida will “lose hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions”.
On 2 April, the CDC released updated technical instructions for mitigation of COVID-19 among cruise ship crew, recommending all crew members, but not all passengers, get vaccinated when cruising resumes as well as undergo routine testing.
However, the update failed to push forward with the industry’s long-awaited test cruises.
“We don’t believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data,” DeSantis said, according to The Washington Post.
“I think we have a good chance for success.”
On 31 October 2020, the CDC lifted its no sail order, replacing it with a set of strict new rules.
The framework calls for a phased approach to the resumption of operations alongside a stringent set of health and safety requirements including a series of “mock”, or “test” voyages.
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