(FiveNation.com)- Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis is going to war with the Centers for Disease Control over ongoing mandates and regulations impact the cruise industry. Governor DeSantis has spent months working with leaders in the cruise industry to facilitate the reopening of the economy fully and allowing Florida to benefit from the financial boom that comes with people cruising to and from the state.
On Thursday, DeSantis revealed that he and the CDC had failed to come to an agreement on cruise safety rules that would encourage as many people as possible to book cruises this year. It means that mediation in a lawsuit filed by the governor against the CDC, designed to stop the government from requiring guests on ships to be vaccinated or wear masks, has not worked.
Unfortunately, it means that cruises in Florida are likely to fall into a state of limbo, whereby the ships are technically allowed to sail, but they are faced with conflicting legal guidelines on mask-wearing. Under CDC rules, ships should require guests to prove that they have taken the COVID-19 vaccination to board the ship, but an executive order from Governor DeSantis also bans any company in the state from discriminating against customers or requiring them to prove their vaccination status.
Specifically, a letter sent to cruise industry leaders from the CDC said that ships can only sail if 95% of the customers and 98% of the crew had all received their vaccinations.
Lawyers argue that the CDC does not have the authority to stop ships from sailing if they do not comply with their rules, suggesting that the government agency is “moving the goalposts” every day and making it impossible for ships to resume sailing again.
Governor DeSantis is not backing down and told a press conference last week that there hasn’t been a single elected official in the country who has been able to liberate the cruise industry from COVID-19 rules and bureaucracy. He slammed the government as out of touch and said that the CDC is exercising authority that it doesn’t have.
The popular Republican governor continues to fight in the courts to save an industry worth as much as $8 billion in staff wages in Florida.