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Buttigieg hopes cruises will return by mid-summer

Buttigieg hopes cruises will return by mid-summer
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Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden says he and GOP both 'sincere about' seeking infrastructure compromise The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Colonial pays hackers as service is restored The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden expresses optimism on bipartisanship; Cheney ousted MORE said Friday that he’s hopeful cruises will be operating again by the middle of summer 2021, following over a year of the industry being sidelined amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I certainty care a lot about seeing the cruise sector thrive. I know that the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] is hopeful that a lot of these operators will be in a position to be sailing by mid-summer,” Buttigieg said at a White House briefing. “We want to do this as soon as we responsibly can but we also have to make sure that it's safe.”

Asked if the cruise industry should be treated like airlines by the CDC, he replied that “the bottom line is safety.”

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“I’m the secretary of Transportation. I can’t wait for us all to be on the move as much as possible in a safe and responsible way, but it’s gotta be safe and responsible. Airlines have one safety profile, cruise ships have another," he said.

Buttigieg’s remarks come the day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisClub for Growth endorses DeSantis reelection bid De Santis's cruise line battle shows contempt for public health federalism DeSantis signs bill making to-go alcohol sales permanent in Florida MORE (R) announced a lawsuit from the state against the federal government, calling for the CDC to allow cruises to resume from the U.S. immediately.

“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 Thursday.

“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,” he added.

The CDC has outlined a phased approach for cruise lines to open, and last week said that fully vaccinated people can safely travel.

Global cruise operator Norwegian recently announced it will restart operations in July, and all passengers with departure dates through October are required to be fully vaccinated and tested.