Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody headed to court Wednesday in hopes of convincing a judge that cruising needs to resume in the United States as it has in other continents such as Asia and Europe.
Moody filed a lawsuit last month against the Federal Government, stating that the restrictions put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were unlawful and are taking too long, causing additional harm to the economy. The restrictions have kept Florida’s cruise ports empty for more than a year since the CDC banned cruising in March of 2020. The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction to block all the restrictions on cruises.
“What that means to Florida is hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions in revenue,” Moody said. “And so after trying in all avenues to try and get the administration to be reasonable, to see that we are in a new time, with new medications, with new parameters on how to control the spread of the virus, it needs a new approach and opening up our cruise lines.”
This year, Florida Governor Ron Desantis threatened to take legal action against the Federal Government if it didn’t end its ban on the cruise industry. He also raised concern recently when he banned “vaccine passports” in Florida.
In a statement to Spectrum News, CDC public affairs specialist Jason McDonald said that the “CDC does not exercise jurisdiction over ships operating outside of U.S. waters that do not intend to return to U.S. waters and that while passenger operations within the U.S. are currently suspended, any cruise line planning to resume passenger travel must follow the agency’s conditional sail order requirements. Returning to passenger cruising is a phased approach to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.”
The CDC reportedly has no intention of giving up its phased approach on allowing cruise lines to sail again.
Additionally, the U.S. government has stated that the state of Florida has no legal right to force the CDC to reopen the cruise line business.
It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out as speculation still points to the resumption of cruises in July of 2021.