Officials support cruising as CDC deadline on No Sail Order looms

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Cruise ships docked at PortMiami during the pandemic earlier this year.
Cruise ships docked at PortMiami during the pandemic earlier this year. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez was the latest official to publicly urge the CDC to drop its No Sail Order against the cruise industry in the U.S., which is set to expire Wednesday.

A comment period on the resumption of cruising ended last week, and CLIA published its plan for member lines to sail with agreed-upon protocols that include testing of all passengers and crew, mandatory mask-wearing, physical distancing in terminals and on the ships, enhancement of onboard air circulation and ventilation and controlled shore excursions.

"Now that the cruise industry has adopted the mandatory core elements, I urge the CDC to not extend or renew the No Sail Order," Gimenez said in a statement Sept. 26.

Meanwhile on Monday, workers rallied at PortMiami in favor of restarting the industry. A reporter from the Miami Herald tweeted a photo of the rally, where people held signs that read "SOS: Save our Salary." The Port has also tweeted in favor of ending the order.

Earlier this month, Florida's two U.S. senators introduced legislation, the Set Sail Safely Act, that would help guide the cruise industry back to service. "The cruise and maritime industries are vital to the prosperity of our state's economy, and securing guidance for safely resuming operations is a top priority of mine," Sen. Marco Rubio said at the time.

ASTA late last week had also added its voice, urging the CDC to drop the order.

The economic fallout from the cruise pause is keenly felt in South Florida, where the four largest cruise companies are headquartered and where the bulk of Caribbean-bound ships are based. PortMiami handled 6.8 million cruise passengers in 2018; Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale handled 3.9 million that year.

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