It was a good day for cruise lines on Friday after a federal judge said that the CDC can’t enforce its rules for sailing against cruise ships in Florida starting July 18.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also had a great day on Friday, as he was who filed the lawsuit against the public health agency in April — calling it a “major victory.”
“The CDC has been wrong all along, and they knew it,” DeSantis declared in a statement. “Today, we are securing this victory for Florida families, for the cruise industry, and for every state that wants to preserve its rights in the face of unprecedented federal overreach.”
In the ruling from U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday, the CDC’s conditional sailing order will now be changed to a “non-binding consideration, recommendation, or guideline’ beginning July 18.
According to the conditional sailing order, the CDC says cruise lines can sail if 95 percent of the crew and passengers are fully vaccinated. Otherwise, the CDC requires cruise lines must take volunteers on “test” cruises to show they have put appropriate safety measures in place that increase safety to their passengers and crew.
Cruise ships have not been allowed to carry passengers from the United States since the onset of the pandemic in March of 2020, after a string of large-scale outbreaks on cruise ships around the world. Some Cruise lines are already performing test cruises from ports not in the U.S., such as Royal Caribbean is in the Bahamas.
There are already cruise lines set to sail next week after meeting the requirements of the CDC.
The question is how these cruise lines will deal with Florida law that makes it illegal for those cruise lines to require proof of vaccination, which is currently one of the requirements from the CDC.