USA Today reported that a federal appeals court sided with the CDC’s right to impose COVID-19 regulations on the cruise ship industry. The two-to-one decision was handed down late Saturday night by a panel of judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals, effectively blocking a previous U.S. district judge’s decision just minutes before it would prevent the CDC from enforcing its COVID-19 regulations on the cruise ship industry.
This decision overrules the previous injunction order against the CDC to stay its Conditional Sail Order (CSO) in Florida, thus rendering its comprehensive framework of regulations to safely restart cruise ship operations as mere recommendations rather than requirements.
Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis filed a lawsuit against the CDC back in April over what he called an “unlawful” shutdown of the cruise industry. The motion for an injunction was previously granted, asserting that the CSO exceeds the CDC’s “statutory and regulatory authority.”
The CDC’s appeal against the injunction order was filed on July 6, defending the CSO and saying, “It does not shut down the cruise industry but instead provides a sensible, flexible framework for reopening, based on the best available scientific evidence.” The CDC maintained “undisputed evidence shows that unregulated cruise ship operations would exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 and that the harm to the public that would result from such operations cannot be undone.”
In a statement made by Bari Golin-Blaugrund, VP of Strategic Communications, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) claimed the cruise industry would continue to comply with the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order in the state of Florida, as it has continued to do across the United States.