Cruise lines get Senate backing!
We all understand that different areas of activity exist in the conditions of COVID-19 and at the moment, no changes are expected. The cruise line administration, as well as the Florida Senate, also understands current realities. As a result, cruise lines have received state support to resume cruises from Florida ports.
Florida Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio announced that they are pushing a bill in the US Senate to ensure the safety of cruise line passengers and employees when Florida's cruise business reopens.
Senators are proposing the creation of a Task Force, in coordination with the Private Sector Advisory Committee, to address the health, safety and logistics issues required to reopen cruise ships and ports.
In his address to the US Senate, Rick Scott said: "Florida is a tourist state with thousands of jobs that depend on the success of our ports, cruise lines and the maritime industry." “As we work to address the coronavirus problem and safely rebuild our economy, this law will support the development of the guidelines needed to ensure the safe reopening of our cruise lines and port operations. I will continue to work with Florida residents, industry organizations and federal leaders to safely bring back this industry that is critical to our state's economic success. ”
At the heart of the bill is the requirement that relevant federal agencies, led by the US Department of Homeland Security, work with private sector stakeholders to develop a plan for the safe reopening of cruise lines. Since March, the US cruise industry has been under a "sailing ban" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which bans all cruise ships carrying more than 250 passengers from leaving US ports. Next week, September 21, the CDC is due to end a comment period to get public opinion on how and when to resume flights. The current CDC sailing ban order expires at the end of the month, but they have previously renewed their order and have yet to set a timetable for when cruises can resume.
The Senators also highlighted broad support for their bill from both other sectors of the maritime industry and the government. The American Ports Authority Association, Florida Ports Council, Miami-Dade Tourism and Ports Committee expressed their appreciation and support for the bill.
“We are extremely grateful to Senator Rick Scott for enacting the Safe Navigation Act. The cruise industry is a vital economic engine of both our national and state economies, and the dramatic impact of its closure is felt every day that cruise ships are out of service. Thousands of jobs have disappeared and millions of dollars continue to be lost every day, ”concluded Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Jimenez.
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