It has been a tough year for the cruise industry. With more than a year having elapsed since the Center for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) first issued its no sailing order, many cruises have simply been unable to operate, or have had to jump through various hoops in order to do so.
With many people finding the CDC’s ban to be unjustly harsh, some taken to calling the CDC out publicly, whilst others have threatened to escalate the situation to a courtroom in order to resolve it. The US Travel Association was the latest group to protest the ban – here’s what they had to say.
Why Were Cruises Put On Hold?
The CDC first imposed its restrictions on cruises on March 14th, 2020. Only a temporary ban initially, it has been extended several times over the past year or so, and is now expected to last until November 2021 – which would mark more than a year and a half of cruising restrictions for the already ailing industry.
The CDC had previously said that the cruises were being put on hold in order to stop the spread of Covid-19 and protect the lives of Americans, after several cruises saw passengers catch the virus whilst on board. In April 2020, the CDC said the order would continue to be in place until the earliest of three situations occurs. The situations were:
- The expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency
- The CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations
- 100 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register
With a lot more than 100 days having passed, various groups are calling on the CDC to lift the order.
US Travel Association Calls For Restrictions To Be Lifted
The US Travel Association, a large trade group that represents all areas of travel, has joined the fight to overturn the CDC’s no sail order. In a statement, Roger Dow, president of the US Travel Association, said that the restrictions had taken “disproportionately heavy” toll on the industry, and complained that the rule preventing cruises from taking place was “uniquely specific”.
Dow continued: “The standard of evidence should be exceptionally high for rules that effectively single out certain industries as other parts of the economy are allowed to reopen,” before adding that it was “economically imperative” that the CDC found “pathways” for sailing to be able to continue. Addressing the risk, he declared it was clear that the industry could provide a safe way to resume travel.
Other Campaigns Against the CDC
The US Travel Association isn’t alone in challenging the CDC over its sailing restrictions. The Cruise Lines International Associations – a group that represents a large number of cruise lines – also challenged the CDC last week, citing their rules as unfair treatment of the industry. The group called for cruises to be able to take part in the US from July.
The Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis went a step further than the aforementioned groups and threatened to go down a legal route in order to resolve the problem. With Florida seen as the cruise capital of the US, the state has lost billions of dollars in revenue as a result of the shutdown.
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