Tags: desantis | cruises | cdc | guidelines

DeSantis to Feds: End National Cruise Line 'Lockdown'

ron desnantis speaks onstage at cpac
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Hyatt Regency on Feb. 26, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 26 March 2021 02:19 PM

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling for the federal government to clear the way for cruise ships to start sailing again by the summer.

DeSantis’ comments came during a meeting with industry leaders at Port Canaveral in central Florida, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

"I want to see these ships sailing," DeSantis said. "It would be a great comeback for a lot of people who work in this industry."

The industry officials claim inaction by the federal government is keeping thousands of workers unemployed and hurting Florida’s economy.

The Sentinel noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had lifted a "no-sail" order back in October. However, cruise lines are still waiting for technical guidance so they can start the test voyage needed to completely resume operations.

"We’re the most crippled by what they are doing with this national cruise lockdown," said DeSantis, a Republican. "If we get liberated from that, you are going to be able see maybe tens of thousands — maybe even a hundred thousand more people — going back to work."

The Sentinel noted cruise lines are already restarting cruises in Israel, Europe and Singapore.

Florida is planning to fund about $260 million to aid ports in the state that have suffered losses during the pandemic. However, DeSantis said that won’t be enough if ships can’t sail.

The Sentinel also reported that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody suggested legal action may be filed if the Biden administration doesn’t move to clear the way for cruise lines to resume operations.

Florida’s Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, along with ten other lawmakers, are also calling on the Biden administration to help get the cruise ships sailing again.

In a Thursday letter to Jeffrey Zients, the White House COVID coordinator, they wrote: "We appreciate the efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to keep Americans healthy and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, we write with concern about the CDC’s continued restrictions on the cruise industry, and the economic toll it is taking on so many in our states that rely on this important industry.

"In October 2020, the CDC issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing as a phased approach to the safe resumption of cruise operations. In doing so, the CDC assured the cruise industry it would release detailed phases in order to resume full cruise operations. To-date, however, the CDC has still not issued Phase II requirements.

"We are disappointed that the CDC has been neither transparent nor forthright with the cruise industry, leaving a sector that is a significant economic driver for our states at a standstill, and affecting jobs in all major ports and surrounding cities."

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling for the federal government to clear the way for cruise ships to start sailing again by the summer. DeSantis' comments came during a meeting with industry leaders at Port Canaveral in central Florida...
desantis, cruises, cdc, guidelines
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2021-19-26
Friday, 26 March 2021 02:19 PM
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