Bill would force CDC to cancel cruise industry’s no-sail order

Bill would force CDC to cancel cruise industry’s no-sail order
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the no-sail order is outdated and hurts the state as the industry generates billions for the economy and employs tens of thousands of Floridians. (Source: CNN)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWSB) - Republicans in the U.S. Senate and House have filed legislation that would compel the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to cancel its recent cruise ship sailing ban.

U.S. Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio of Florida, along with Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, on Tuesday introduced the Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements (CRUISE) Act, which would revoke the CDC’s current no-sail order on cruises and require the CDC to provide COVID-19 mitigation guidance for cruise lines to resume safe domestic operations.

Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar, R-Florida, is leading this legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Florida is a tourism state with thousands of jobs relying on the success of our ports, cruise lines, and maritime industries,” Scott was quoted in a news release. “The CDC’s refusal to properly address this shutdown is wrong and it’s time to get the cruise lines open safely.”

The CRUISE Act:

⦁ Requires the CDC to issue recommendations for how to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 to passengers and crew on board cruise ships.

⦁ Establishes an interagency “Working Group” that will develop recommendations to facilitate the resumption of passenger cruise ship operations in the United States. The recommendations will facilitate the resumption of passenger cruise ship operations in the United States no later than July 4.

⦁ No later than July 4, the CDC must revoke the order entitled “Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew.”

⦁ Ensures that the Department of Health and Human Services and CDC retain all appropriate authorities to make and enforce regulations necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases on any individual cruise ship.

Rep. Salazar, whose district is in Miami-Dade County, said the bill is needed to get her constituents working again. “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.”

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