U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday in Tampa, Fla. On Friday granted the state’s request for a preliminary injunction barring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from enforcing a conditional navigation order the agency issued. in place in October. In order, the CDC has put in place a framework for cruise lines to restart operations by performing multiple phases, including test crossings, too onerous requirements depending on the cruise industry.
“The availability of vaccines and tests and the relatively insignificant incidence of infection on overseas cruises – all quickly identified and contained – encourage optimism about the safety of shipping operations in the United States, which benefit from high vaccination rates and greatly improved on-board containment mechanisms. », Wrote Judge Merryday.
The judge immediately suspended the injunction until July 18, when the conditional navigation order will become a non-binding directive for the cruise industry, similar to the tools the agency uses with industries like airlines. and railways. He gave the CDC the option of proposing a more restrictive injunction no later than July 2 and ordered the parties to continue mediation.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who highlighted his battle with the federal government to restart cruises and whose state is a major hub for the industry, welcomed the decision.
“The CDC was wrong from the start, and they knew it,” DeSantis said. “Today, we are securing this victory for Florida families, for the cruise industry, and for every state that wishes to uphold its rights in the face of unprecedented federal reach.”
A spokesperson for the CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Appeared in the print edition of June 19, 2021 under the title “US judge blocks CDC rules on cruises”.