A federal appeals court reversed course and let stand a lower court order banning the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from enforcing COVID-19 cruise ship rules in Florida.
Florida that had filed a lawsuit arguing the CDC curbs made it tough for the cruise industry to recover from the pandemic.ccording to Reuters, the decision is a win for
However, the CDC said that even though it cannot require cruise ships to abide by the sail order, it will enforce its separate transit mask requirements on cruise ships in Florida that choose not to follow the voluntary program.
Furthermore, all cruise ships in Florida will still be required to report “individual cases of illness or death and ship inspections and sanitary measures to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases.”
Moreover, cruise lines that ensure at least 95% of passengers and nearly all crew are vaccinated can bypass simulated voyages and move more quickly to resuming commercial trips.
Currently, masks are not required in outdoor areas on cruise ships.
The appeals court ruling came soon after Florida had filed an emergency petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the high court to lift the appeals court order, warning that without action the state was “all but guaranteed to lose yet another summer cruise season while the CDC pursues its appeal.”
During May, the CDC started approving some cruise operations after lengthy talks with the industry about health and safety protocols. Operations had been suspended in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.