CRUISE Act Addresses Impacts Of COVID-19 On Cruise Industry
U.S. Representatives Brian Mast (FL-18) and Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27), along with a number of their House colleagues, introduced the Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements (CRUISE) Act, which would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide COVID-19 mitigation guidance for cruise lines to resume safe domestic operations.
“In contrast to authoritarian lockdowns in states like New York and California, Florida has stayed open for business and tackled the coronavirus crisis at the same time. But because of the CDC’s unresponsiveness to efforts to safely restart cruising, thousands of Florida jobs are still being sacrificed,” Rep. Mast said. “The CRUISE Act would change that by establishing clear guidance for restarting cruising as safely as possible.”
“Welcoming over 5 million passengers and $9 billion dollars directly into our economy each year, Miami is the Cruise Capital of the World and it is time to start sailing again. I am proud to join my Senate colleagues and lead this fight in the House so that our ships can return to sea, our longshoremen can return to port, and Americans can start cruising again,” Rep. Salazar said. “This legislation will fix the CDC’s arbitrary guidelines and give clarity and fairness to the industry that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout Miami’s entire tourism economy.”
Representatives Mast and Salazar were joined by Representatives Don Young (AK-AL), Randy Weber (TX-14), Nancy Mace (SC-01), Carlos Giménez (FL-26), Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Jerry Carl (AL-01), Greg Steube (FL-17), Jenniffer González-Colón (PR), Scott Franklin (FL-15), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) and Debbie Lesko (AZ- 08) in introducing this legislation.
The CRUISE Act would:
- Require the CDC to issue recommendations for how to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 to passengers and crew onboard cruise ships.
- Establish an interagency “Working Group” that will develop recommendations to facilitate the resumption of passenger cruise ship operations in the United States. The recommendations will facilitate the resumption of passenger cruise ship operations in the United States no later than July 1, 2021.
- No later than July 1, 2021, the CDC must revoke the order entitled “Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew.”
- Ensure that the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC retain all appropriate authorities to make and enforce regulations necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases on any individual cruise ship.
U.S. Senators Rick Scott (FL), Dan Sullivan (AK) and Marco Rubio (FL) also introduced the bill in the Senate.