Federal officials say a lawsuit in Florida could block cruise ships from visiting Alaska this summer
Florida sued the Biden administration to exclude requirements called a conditional sailing order imposed on cruise lines prior to sailing in US waters for the first time since March 2020.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Congress effectively ratified the conditional sailing order when it passed a law last month to allow large cruise ships to resume travel from Washington state to Alaska this summer.
If Florida wins the injunction blocking the CDC’s order, it is “cruising in Alaska for the season,” agency attorneys say because a bill pushed by the Republican congressional delegation to Alaska will take effect when the CDC’s order takes effect. Lasts. Several cruise lines have announced plans to visit Alaska with vaccinated crew members and passengers starting in a few weeks.
Alaska is estimated to contribute $3 billion annually to the state’s economy by cruises. Alaska and Texas, another state with a large cruising industry, quickly sided with Florida in the matter.
Alaska’s attorney general’s office complained in a courtroom this week about the CDC’s “persistent-morphing orders, restrictions and guidance” for large cruise ships.
Federal lawyers also said in a filing this week that Florida’s desire to block the CDC’s regulation of cruising restarts would undermine public confidence in cruising, “particularly in the state of Florida, which has publicly The industry is battling over its laws.”
It was a reference to concern among cruise lines that a state law signed by the government. Ron DeSantis that will stop companies from requiring that travelers be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The federal judge overseeing Florida’s lawsuit against the Biden administration ordered both sides to arbitrate, which has failed to end the impasse.