We’ve gotten quite a few updates about cruising lately and a look at some changes that could be on the way.
Not too long ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shared their next phase of requirements for cruise lines, the Florida Governor filed a lawsuit over cruise restrictions, and we shared how Carnival Cruise Line is looking to resume cruises this summer. Now, Florida’s U.S. Senators have taken action regarding the cruising industry.
According to the Miami Herald, Florida’s U.S. Senators, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, along with Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan, recently introduced legislation to change the regulations cruise companies must meet to sail again. The new legislation seeks to override the CDC’s existing framework, which cruises must follow to sail again, and replace those regulations with a new set of recommendations regarding the mitigation of COVID-19 on cruise ships.
In a statement, Florida Senator Rick Scott said “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…it’s time to get the cruise lines open safely.”
The legislation introduced is called the Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements Act or the CRUISE Act. It would require the CDC to revoke their existing framework, which requires cruises to get agreements with ports and local health authorities in the cities they intend to visit before beginning to test voyages and then eventually welcome passengers on board, by July 4th.
The new legislation would establish a “working group” composed of several U.S. agencies and industry representatives who would work to develop a new set of CDC cruise ship recommendations by July 4th. A Miami representative to the U.S. House of Representatives intends to introduce similar legislation there.
Recently, the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, noted that cruises present a unique set of challenges compared to other types of transportation. But, he noted, “CDC is hopeful that a lot of these operators will be in a position to be sailing by mid-summer.”
At the moment, Disney Cruise Line has canceled all U.S. cruises through June and select other cruises through September. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more updates on the cruise industry and let you know what we find.