PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – At a roundtable Friday morning with executives from cruise lines and companies that work with cruise lines at Port Canaveral, Gov. Ron DeSantis called on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to rescind its no-sail order for cruise ships.
The CDC’s no-sail order has been in effect since March 14, 2020, and is currently set to expire on Nov. 1.
“If there is one thing we’ve learned over the past year, it’s that lockdowns don’t work and Floridians deserve the right to earn a living,” DeSantis said. “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.”
Earlier this month, Cruise Lines International Association said it planned to ask the Biden administration to lift the no-sail order for cruise ships in July.
Some cruise line executives who spoke at Friday’s roundtable said they have had to lay off hundreds of employees, but would be able to immediately hire them back once the no-sail order is lifted, WPLG-TV reported.
Executives from smaller companies that do business with cruise lines said they have also had to lay off employees and that they have a backup of inventory that they cannot sell because it is specifically branded for certain cruise lines.
They also said they would be able to rehire laid-off employees, but only if the no-sail order is lifted imminently as their businesses may not be able to survive another six months of the current situation.
Thank you @GovRonDesantis, @AGAshleyMoody, @FDOT_Secretary, @SenrickScott & @marcorubio for continuing to advocate for the safe resumption of #cruise. We are grateful for your support of Florida’s ports and the jobs and businesses we support.#jaXportpartners #Xmarksthespot pic.twitter.com/XsUEwv8A0s— JAXPORT (@JAXPORT) March 26, 2021
Those who spoke at Friday’s roundtable expressed frustration that cruises have been allowed to sail in 10 regions across the world and so far there have been no COVID-19 outbreaks on the ships.