DeSantis Says Florida Suing Federal Government to Allow Cruises

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the state is suing the federal government to allow cruising to return in the U.S., more than a year after the industry went on hiatus over the Covid-19 pandemic.

The step is the latest escalation in a squabble between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the major cruise lines, many of which have their corporate headquarters in South Florida.

DeSantis Says Florida Suing Federal Government to Allow Cruises

“I’m happy to announce that on behalf of the tens of thousands of Floridians whose livelihood depends on the viability of an open cruise industry, today Florida is fighting back,” the Republican governor said Thursday in Miami. “We’re filing a lawsuit against the federal government and the CDC demanding that our cruise ships be reopened immediately.”

The CDC technically lifted its ban on cruising in October but replaced it with a phased approach to returning to the sea, and no cruise line has yet won full approval to sail again. The industry accuses the government of dragging its feet and treating it more harshly than other tourism businesses.

But when the pandemic was beginning, cruise lines endured several deadly outbreaks at sea.

Florida is home to the world’s largest passenger port and the main offices of Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., which are major employers in the Sunshine State.

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