CDC “hopes” cruises can resume by mid-summer, says Buttigieg

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, center, speaks at a press conference surrounded by cruise workers on April 8 at the Port of Miami in Miami.  DeSantis has announced a lawsuit against the federal government and the CDC demanding that cruise ships be allowed to sail.  (AP Photo / Wilfredo Lee)



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Good news for cruises?

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were optimistic about the resumption of cruises in mid-summer, with operators struggling to stay afloat a year after the shutdown of shipping due to coronavirus issues.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg answers a question from a reporter during a White House press briefing on April 9 in Washington.
(Photo AP / Andrew Harnik)

Buttigieg shared the CDC’s latest position during a White House press briefing on Friday. According to an official transcript, a reporter asked the secretary to comment on concerns from cruise industry leaders that the CDC’s most recent technical guidance under the framework for the Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) were much more ambiguous than regulations requiring commercial airlines to fly during that time. time.

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“Well, the bottom line is safety… I can’t expect all of us to be on the move as much as possible in a safe and responsible manner, but it has to be safe and responsible,” Buttigieg said. “And the airlines have – the planes have a safety profile; cruise ships have another, vehicles have another. And each should be treated on the basis of what is safe for that industry. “

“I certainly want to see the cruise industry flourish. And I know that CDC is hoping that a lot of these operators will be able to navigate by the middle of the summer, ”he said. “And putting those specific types of doors in place that they need to get through is a very important step in that direction. “

“I certainly care a lot about seeing the cruise industry flourish. And I know CDC is hoping that a lot of these operators will be able to navigate by mid-summer, ”Buttigieg said.
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The day before, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Sunshine State had taken legal action against the federal government, demanding that cruise ships be allowed to start sailing immediately. The governor argued that the sailing ban order is outdated and devastating for the state, as the cruise industry generates billions for the economy and employs tens of thousands of Floridians.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, center, speaks at a press conference surrounded by cruise passengers on April 8 at the Port of Miami in Miami. DeSantis has announced a lawsuit against the federal government and the CDC demanding that cruise ships be allowed to sail. (AP Photo / Wilfredo Lee)

“We don’t think the federal government has the right to shut down a major industry for more than a year based on very little evidence and very little data,” DeSantis said at a conference press release at the Port of Miami, reports the Associated Press.

“People are going to navigate one way or another. The question is, are we going to do it outside of Florida, which is the first place in the world to do it, or will they do it from the Bahamas or other places? “

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On April 2, the CDC released the second phase of the CSO, adding six additional steps for cruise ship operators to safely resume operations at an as yet undetermined date. These latest measures include daily notification of COVID-19 cases and an improved color coding system to classify a ship’s safety status with respect to the new virus, among others.

The CDC first issued a navigation ban on March 14, 2020, and the National Institute of Public Health said those restrictions would be in effect at least until November 2021.

The cruise capital of America, Florida is home to three of the world’s busiest ports: Miami, Port Canaveral and Port Everglades.

Ronn Blitzer of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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