TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Senators Rick Scott, Dan Sullivan and Marco Rubio introduced the Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements (CRUISE) Act, which would revoke the CDC’s current No Sail Order on cruises and require the CDC to provide COVID-19 mitigation guidance for cruise lines to resume safe domestic operations.
Senator Scott sent a letter to Jeffrey Zients, the White House COVID Response Coordinator, in March, urging the Biden administration to issue clear guidance for the resumption of operations for the cruise industry.
“Florida is a tourism state with thousands of jobs relying on the success of our ports, cruise lines and maritime industries," said Scott. "While many sectors of the economy have been safely operating for months under CDC guidelines, Floridians, and those across the nation that rely on the cruise industry for work, continue to wait for updated guidance from the CDC. The CDC's refusal to properly address this shutdown is wrong and it’s time to get the cruise lines open safely. Our bill, the CRUISE Act, says we’re not waiting on the CDC any longer. Cruises can and should resume, and we’re going to do everything we can to bring back our cruise industry safely.”
Senator Scott also introduced the Set Sail Safely Act last year, which would establish a Maritime Task Force, in coordination with a Private Sector Advisory Committee, to address the health, safety, security, and logistical changes needed to allow for cruise lines and ports to resume operations.
“The benefits of cruise operations are integral to the economies of Florida’s port cities," Senator Marco Rubio said. "Floridians and many other Americans who are employed by ports, cruise operators, or work in hospitality jobs near cruise terminals face an uncertain future because of the CDC’s unresponsiveness to requests for guidance by stakeholder groups. I am proud to join Senators Sullivan and Scott in introducing legislation that would require the CDC to provide guidance to safely resume operations this summer, and allow Florida’s economy to recover even further.”
The CRUISE Act:
- Requires the CDC to issue recommendations for how to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 to passengers and crew onboard cruise ships.
- Establishes an interagency “Working Group” that will develop recommendations to facilitate the resumption of passenger cruise ship operations in the United States. The recommendations will facilitate the resumption of passenger cruise ship operations in the United States no later than July 4, 2021.
- No later than July 4, 2021, the CDC must revoke the order entitled “Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew.”
- Ensures that HHS and CDC retain all appropriate authorities to make and enforce regulations necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases on any individual cruise ship.
Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar is leading this legislation in the House of Representatives.