Florida and Alaska Senators Introduce Bill to Override CDC’s No Sail Order
Today, Florida Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, along with Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan, have introduced a new bill to override the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) existing No Sail Order. This legislation, named the Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements (CRUISE) Act, seeks to revoke the current No Sail Order on cruises and require the CDC to provide new guidance for cruise lines to resume sailing operations in the United States. Here’s what we know so far about this bill.
According to the Miami Herald, The CRUISE Act would require the CDC to revoke their existing framework by July 4, which requires cruise companies to secure agreements with ports and local health authorities in the cities they plan to visit. Once the agreements are in place, cruise companies can begin simulated test voyages with passengers.
The bill would establish an inter-agency group comprised of the secretaries of Transportation, Homeland Security and Commerce, along with industry representatives to develop a new set of CDC cruise ship recommendations by July 4, the latest possible date that cruises could resume operations.
“While many sectors of the economy have been safely operating for months under CDC guidelines, Floridians, and those across the nation that rely on the cruise industry for work, continue to wait for updated guidance from the CDC,” said Senator Scott. “The CDC’s refusal to properly address this shutdown is wrong, and it’s time to get the cruise lines open safely.”
“Floridians and many other Americans who are employed by ports, cruise operators, or work in hospitality jobs near cruise terminals face an uncertain future because of the CDC’s unresponsiveness to requests for guidance by stakeholder groups,” remarked Senator Rubio on the CRUISE Act. “I am proud to join Senators Sullivan and Scott in introducing legislation that would require the CDC to provide guidance to safely resume operations this summer, and allow Florida’s economy to recover even further.”
Just last week, a lawsuit was filed by the State of Florida against the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services to petition the court to “set aside the CDC’s unlawful actions and hold that cruises should be allowed to operate with reasonable safety protocols.”
Florida Representative Maria Elvira Salazar, of Miami, will be introducing similar legislation in the House of Representatives.
“This legislation will fix the CDC’s arbitrary guidelines and give clarity and fairness to the industry that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout Miami’s entire tourism economy,” said Salazar in an official statement.
This is a breaking news story. We will continue to update as additional information becomes available.
Sources: The Miami Herald