The Governor of Florida announced the state has filed a lawsuit against the United States government over the “unlawful” shutdown of the cruise industry.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Governor Ron DeSantis announced Thursday Florida is filing a lawsuit against U.S. President Joe Biden’s Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
DeSantis is demanding that cruise ships be “reopened immediately.”
“This is not reasonable. This is not rational,” DeSantis said during a news conference at PortMiami. “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.”
“People are still going to go on cruises. You know what they’re going to do?” DeSantis continued. “Instead of flying to Miami, spending money to stay in our hotels, spending money to eat in our restaurants before they get on the ship, they’re going to fly to the Bahamas, and they’re going to get on the ship from the Bahamas, and they’re going to spend the money in the Bahamas.”
The CDC originally issued a no-sail order in March 2020 before releasing a Conditional Sailing Order in late 2020. While neither answered most of the questions about when cruising could resume, CDC officials said this week sailings could restart from the U.S. sometime this summer.
“CDC is committed to working with the cruise industry and seaport partners to resume cruising following the phased approach outlined in the conditional sailing order,” the statement said. “This goal aligns with the desire to resume passenger operations in the United States expressed by many major cruise ship operators and travelers; hopefully, by mid-summer with restricted revenue sailings.”
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody also spoke about the impact of the ban on the state with the highest percentage of cruise departures.
“We’re not going to sit back while an administrative agency decides to shut down an entire industry,” Moody said. “Sixty percent of the nation’s cruises come out of Florida.”
As a result of the lack of clarity from the CDC, many cruise lines announced plans to resume sailing from international ports in the Caribbean and Europe, including Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Virgin Voyages.