Pressure is mounting on the U.S. government to take action in regards to the resumption of cruising. U.S. Travel Association, a national, non-profit organization representing all travel industry components, has joined the growing number of trade organizations, governors, and representatives that have already voiced their concerns.
Indeed, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the CDC to defend their decisions based on information available months ago, which does not account for how COVID, or cruising, is handled now.
The resumption of cruises in the U.K., Singapore, and an increasing number of countries in Europe does show that if the government makes information and science-based choices, and not from prejudice, cruising can resume in a safe and controlled manner.
The Rule Preventing Cruises is Uniquely Specific
Trade organization U.S. travel believes the cruise industry has been singled out exponentially harshly. No single industry has been stopped from operating without a view to restarting in any reasonable timeframe. According to U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow, a solution needs to be found sooner rather than later:
“The standard of evidence should be exceptionally high for rules that effectively single out specific industries as other parts of the economy are allowed to reopen. Restrictions have taken a disproportionately heavy toll on the travel industry and our millions of workers, and the rule preventing cruise operations is uniquely specific.
“It is economically imperative to find the pathways to reopening, and the evidence is clear that a layered approach to health and safety allows the safe resumption of travel. We join the calls to identify the way toward lifting the Conditional Sail Order and allowing the phased resumption of cruise operations as quickly as possible.”
Indeed, the Conditional Sailing Order has proven to be nothing but a No-Sail-Order wrapped up in gift paper. There are four stages to the Conditional Sail Order, and so far, the CDC has held back the information needed for cruise lines to move from stage one, a stage the cruise lines have been in for five months.
The CDC Could Be Looking At Significant Lawsuits
One person who has been vocal about the need to resume cruises as soon as possible is Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis. Ron DeSantis said Friday he would file a lawsuit against the CDC if the agency doesn’t lift the conditional sailing order before summer.
DeSantis joined Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and heads of Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, and Norwegian Cruise Lines at Port Canaveral last week to talk about the cruise industry reopening.
According to DeSantis, federal government officials must lift the order that keeps cruise ships docked since March 2020. Last week, the CDC informed the Cruise Lines International Association that it would not lift the order until November. And that message does not sit well with the governor:
“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. Is it OK for the government to idle an industry for a year with no end in sight?”
While the Biden administration has now made it clear they intend to start opening the tourism industry by May or June of this year, the vaccination grade is going up each day, and cruises elsewhere are starting up. It is about time for the CDC to rescind their order. The financial consequences of not doing so are affecting millions of people unnecessarily.
Wondering how you can have an impact? By writing to your state representatives, you can make them aware of the issue at hand. CLIA has set up an action page from where you can write your representative directly.