Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis threatened to sue the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if restrictions on the cruise industry are not lifted by the summer.
DeSantis met with Republican Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and executives from Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Norweigan cruise lines to advocate for the lifting of the CDC’s No-Sail Order, which was implemented in March 2020, Axios reported. The cruise industry brings billions of dollars into Florida each year, with millions of passengers passing through Miami, Port Canaveral and Port Everglades.
— Cruise Industry News (@CruiseIndustry) March 26, 2021
“This has a kind of ripple effect throughout all businesses. When they’re sailing, there is more economic opportunity for people across a wide range of businesses. It affects a lot of jobs,” DeSantis said Friday. (RELATED: Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist Giving ‘Serious Consideration’ To Challenging DeSantis For His Old Job)
The No-Sail Order was technically replaced in October by a “Conditional Sailing Order” which would allow for a gradual resumption of cruises, but DeSantis called that step “totally unrealistic.” Moody said a lawsuit could be filed against the newer order because it is allegedly based on outdated medical information.
Cruise ships acted as “super spreaders” in the early days of the pandemic, with large groups of passengers frequently getting infected after mingling in close quarters for extended periods of time. The cruise restriction is one of the few remaining pandemic restrictions in place in Florida, where DeSantis has lifted the vast majority of orders regarding COVID-19.