WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Florida Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio have introduced a piece of legislation that would revoke the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's current no-sail order and introduce a new set of safety protocols to allow cruises to once again set sail.
The Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements, or CRUISE Act, requires that the CDC revoke its no sail order by July 4th and provide cruise lines with recommendations for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 onboard ships. It would also establish a "working group" to develop those new sets of recommendations.
"Florida is a tourism state with thousands of jobs relying on the success of our ports, cruise lines, and maritime industries," Scott said in a statement. "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."
Currently for cruises to resume sailing, the CDC is requiring that reporting of COVID cases and illnesses be reported daily. Routine testing for crew members is also required. And, before passengers return, the agency is also mandating simulated voyages -- to allow both crew and port workers to practice new procedures.
The Florida Republicans have continued the state's critique of the CDC's guidance on cruises. Earlier this month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the state would be filing a lawsuit against the Biden administration demanding that the cruise industry be reopened.
DeSantis said tens of thousands of Floridians who are out of work due to the closure of the industry have suffered for too long. He says that people flying to other countries to go on cruises and spending money that could have spent in Florida is deeply hurting the state's economy.
The country's cruise industry has been shut down since March 2020. The CDC has indicated that the order would remain in place until Nov. 1, 2021.
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