PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. - Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday held a roundtable with leaders to highlight the importance of the cruise industry to Florida’s economy.
At the roundtable, Governor DeSantis called on the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to rescind its no-sail order which the CDC has indicated will remain in place until November 1, 2021.
"If there is one thing we’ve learned over the past year, it’s that lockdowns don’t work, and Floridians deserve the right to earn a living," said Governor DeSantis. "The cruise industry is essential to our state’s economy and keeping it shut down until November would be devastating to the men and women who rely on the cruise lines to provide for themselves and their families. I urge the CDC to immediately rescind this baseless no-sail order to allow Floridians in this industry to get back to work."
A September 2020 report from the Federal Maritime Commission estimated that during the first 6 months of the pandemic, losses in Florida due to the cruise industry shutdown totalled $3.2 billion in economic activity, including 49,500 jobs paying $2.3 billion in wages.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday its no-sail order will remain in place until Nov. 1 for cruise ships despite a request from the Cruise Lines International Association to lift the order several months early.
The CLIA said it believes cruise lines are ready to sail again from U.S. ports and asked the CDC to allow for a phased resumption by the beginning of July, a timeline correlating with when President Joe Biden said he hopes small groups can begin to gather again.
On Wednesday, the CDC said it is working on updating its no-sail order.
"Returning to passenger cruising is a phased approach to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. Details for the next phase of the CSO are currently under interagency review," the agency said in a statement to FOX Television Stations.
Since COVID-19 most commonly spreads from person to person by respiratory droplets during close physical contact, packed cruise ships were hotspots for infection at the outset of the pandemic. Several ships with onboard outbreaks were even stranded at sea, barred from docking and disembarking over concern of further spreading the virus.
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