Florida Senators introduce 'CRUISE Act' to revoke CDC's no-sail order

Two Florida Senators have introduced an act to revoke the CDC's no-sail order and require them to provide guidance for cruises to resume safe operations.

Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio joined Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan to introduce the Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements (CRUISE) Act on Tuesday. 

The act would reportedly revoke the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) current no-sail order on cruises and require the public health agency to provide COVID-19 mitigation guidance for cruises to resume safe domestic operations. 

Florida Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar is said to be leading the legislation into the House of Representatives as well. 

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They said that the Cruise Act will:

  • "Requires the CDC to issue recommendations for how to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 to passengers and crew onboard 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, 2021."
  • "No later than July 4, 2021, the CDC must revoke the order entitled "Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew."'
  • "Ensures that HHS 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."

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"Florida is a tourism state with thousands of jobs relying on the success of our ports, cruise lines and maritime industries. 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," Senator Scott said. "The CDC's refusal to properly address this shutdown is wrong and it’s time to get the cruise lines open safely."

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Cruise ships line up along Port Miami of Miami as cruises have been canceled due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic on Sunday, March 15, 2020 in Miami, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

He added that "our bill, the CRUISE Act, says we’re not waiting on the CDC any longer. Cruises can and should resume, and we’re going to do everything we can to bring back our cruise industry safely."

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Senator Rubio said "the benefits of cruise operations are integral to the economies of Florida’s port cities. 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."

He added that "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."

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