ASTA on Thursday came out in support of Florida's lawsuit against the federal government and the CDC seeking the immediate return of cruises from U.S. ports.
"The CDC announced last week that those who have been vaccinated are at low risk to spread infection and can resume domestic travel as long as they adhere to social distancing and masking protocols," ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby said in a statement. "Why this pronouncement applies to the 1.5 million airline passengers flying every day but does not apply to those who would choose to cruise is arbitrary and capricious."
The Society added that it is "long past time" for the CDC to either rescind its Conditional Sail Order or issue new guidance enabling cruise ships to resume sailing.
"We find the CDC's position singling out cruising perplexing given that nearly every other group activity one can envision -- from attending sporting events to dining indoors in restaurants, to visiting movie theaters and gyms, not to mention traveling by air and staying in hotels -- has already resumed safely with masking requirements and social distancing protocols in place," Kerby said.
Considering the medical facilities and staff onboard ships and the successful sailings in Asia and Europe, Kerby said, "cruise lines are uniquely positioned to deal with a variety of challenges, including Covid-19."
Kerby also voiced the Society's support of CLIA's efforts to urge immediate action from the CDC.