DeSantis, Florida sue federal government over cruise restrictions

DeSantis, Florida sue federal government over cruise restrictions
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Florida is suing the federal government over an ongoing no-sail order on cruise lines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisMore voters would pick Trump over Biden if election were held today: poll 17 Democratic state AGs back challenge to Florida voting limits The Memo: Media obsess over Trump's past as he eyes comeback MORE (R) announced the lawsuit on Thursday, saying the order is hurting thousands of Florida residents who are employed by cruise companies and negatively affecting the state's economy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced guidance to eventually reopen the cruise industry in the U.S. on Friday but kept the no-sail order in place for now.

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Cruises, with their highly contained environments, saw multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 last year.

“We don’t believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data,” DeSantis said at the Port of Miami.

Florida has three of the busiest ports for cruises in the world and is the nation’s cruise capital, The Associated Press reported.

“People are still going to go on cruises. You know what they are going to do? Instead of flying to Miami, spending money to stay in our hotels, spending money to eat in our restaurants before they get on the ship, they’re going to fly to the Bahamas and they’re going to get on the ships from the Bahamas,” DeSantis said.

Other cruise lines around the world have reopened, with industry leaders saying there haven’t been COVID-19 outbreaks on the ships, according to AP.

"Cruising safely and responsibly during a global pandemic is difficult," the CDC said last week. "While cruising will always pose some risk of COVID-19 transmission, following the phases of the CSO [conditional sailing order] will ensure cruise ship passenger operations are conducted in a way that protects crew members, passengers, and port personnel, particularly with emerging COVID-19 variants of concern."