Florida’s lawsuit over CDC cruise orders goes before judge Wednesday


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The State of Florida is preparing to take on the federal government in a lawsuit to get cruise ships sailing again.

In April, Gov. Ron DeSantis filed a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, demanding that it lifts its no-sail order for cruise ships.

“What that means to Florida is hundreds of thousands of jobs, billion of dollars in revenue,” said Attorney General Ashely Moody. “After trying in all avenues to try and get the administration to be reasonable, understand that we are in a new time with new medications with new parameters on how to control the spread of the virus it needs a new approach in opening up our cruise lines.”

“COVID has definitely effected us all and cruise ships were a major source of visitors for us. I think that’s hit everybody,” Meghan Garner with the Florida Aquarium, a business near Port Tampa Bay, told 8 On Your Side earlier this year.

Last month, the CDC said cruise lines may be able to resume voyages by this July, but must follow strict rules. First, a cruise ship must have 98% of its crew and 95% of its passengers fully vaccinated.

“Ships may now bypass simulated voyages and move directly to open water sailing with passengers if a ship attests that 98 percent of its crew and 95 percent of its passengers are fully vaccinated,” the CDC said.

The first hearing for the lawsuit is set for Wednesday at 9 a.m. in a federal courtroom in Tampa.

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