Florida governor urges CDC to end no-sail order for cruise ships

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is urging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to end its no-sail order on cruise ships. 

The no-sail order was enacted in March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is set to expire in November. 

DeSantis spoke about the order during a roundtable discussion with executives from the cruise industry. 

“The cruise industry is essential to our state’s economy and keeping it shut down until November would be devastating to the men and women who rely on the cruise lines to provide for themselves and their families. I urge the CDC to immediately rescind this baseless no-sail order to allow Floridians in this industry to get back to work,” DeSantis said, according to News 4 Jax.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, cases of COVID-19 on cruise ships caused global concern. According to the CDC, there were hundreds of cases linked to travelers on ships. 

“The Diamond Princess and Grand Princess had more than 800 total COVID-19 cases, including 10 deaths. During February 3- March 13, in the United States, approximately 200 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed among returned cruise travelers from multiple ship voyages,” an official report said. 

According to an article from the medical journal BMJ, epidemiologists learned a lot about COVID-19 from the outbreaks seen on cruises. 

“In the early days of the covid-19 pandemic, there was one place besides China that became infamous as a hotbed of SARS-CoV-2 transmission: a cruise ship. That ship has taught epidemiologists crucial lessons,” the journal said. 

The Cruise Lines International Association is urging Congress to work with the Biden Administration to lift the no-sail order and allow cruises to begin by the beginning of July. 

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