The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately put a lot of industries in jeopardy thanks to the regulations set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The cruise liner business is no exception. The industry is home to over five thousand jobs and creates millions of dollars in annual revenue each year. However, this immense business was put on hold around March of last year in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Now, that a year has passed, state officials are taking immediate action to restore cruises in U.S. ports.
Ports in Texas and Louisiana are gearing up for the cruise season by scheduling events while waiting on the CDC’s next move. At the same time, the state of Florida has decided to take bolder action. In an effort to put some pressure on the CDC, the state of Florida has filed a motion asking for immediate injunction from the court rescinding the CDC’s current orders that will block cruises from restarting this summer.
The motion states the CDC is not acting in good faith and hasn’t planned steps for cruise lines to begin sailing once again. Alongside this, the motion states Florida will lose millions, even billions of dollars without the cruise industry this year. The motion goes on to state that certain cruise lines are threatening to move their operations abroad and if that happens “the State of Florida will never be the same.”
So far, the federal government nor the CDC has filed a response. However, when the act was brought to the floor for a discussion it did encounter some opposition. Senator Patty Murray, who represents Washington state, went on to say that:
“We must trust the science, and we must allow the CDC to continue its work to help us return to what we love as safely as possible. So, I will continue to work with CDC and the administration as they develop the next phase of their cruising guidance, but for now, I object.”
The decision to restore the cruise liner industry is a difficult one to say the least. While the business helps the state and families economically, cases of coronavirus on a cruise ship in the past have proven deadly. The lawyers at BoatLaw, LLP are always interested in the development of these stories, especially because a large part of our business is from cruise ship injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured on a cruise ship, call us at 1 (800) 262-8529.