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Battle Between CDC And Cruise Industry Over COVID Heats Up


There are only two things happening in the cruise industry right now. First, cruise lines are performing test sails to ensure that they are in accordance with health and safety recommendations while the pandemic wanes, but persists. Second, they are caught in the middle of a battle between Governor Ron DeSantis and the CDC. The CDC insists that they have the authority to issue ‘no sail’ orders, while the State of Florida insists that they do not.

Recently, a federal judge agreed with Florida and placed an injunction against the CDC’s universal ‘no sail’ order. However, the CDC has filed an appeal. Below, we’ll discuss the current state of their battle.

CDC wants injunction stayed 

The judge who presided over the first case appeared mystified that the use of masks was still a CDC requirement. He pointed to evidence that the CDC produced itself saying that masks had a marginal impact on the spread of COVID. Nonetheless, government databases have articles full of mask testing data. This data shows that masks reduce the overall amount of viral load that can be passed from one person to another. Why is that important? Because the severity of your infection is directly related to the number of virus cells (viral load) that attack your body.

The CDC, in appealing the decision, believes that they should have the authority to impose restrictions on specific industries that contributed to the spread of COVID. No industry contributed more to the spread of COVID than did the cruise industry. The very first cases on American shores were mostly cruise passengers who had acquired the virus while sailing. The nature of sailing, the close confinement for long periods of time, is why the CDC has placed more restrictions on the cruise industry in the hope that it will avoid spreading the new Delta variant that is now the predominant cause of COVID infections in the US.

Why the cruise industry? 

How come people can ride on planes, go to amusement parks, go to water parks, baseball games, and everything else, but not go on a cruise ship? Essentially, that is the argument that the State of Florida is making against the CDC. The reason is fairly self-evident, unlike a ball game which lasts a few hours and is outside, and planes which have HEPA air filters and have yet to have a direct connection to anyone contracting COVID, cruise ships are multiday, pack them in shoulder to shoulder events which were linked directly to the spread of COVID.  In reality, the State of Florida is not worried about the disparate treatment of the cruise lines, it is really worried about losing revenue from the cruise industry which attracts millions of tourists each year to Florida ports. The cruise industry pays to use those ports and provides the government with tax revenue that it has been losing since March of last year.

Talk to a Miami Maritime Lawyer Today 

If you have been injured on the high seas, a different set of rules applies. Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford can help you file a lawsuit against the owner of the vessel and recover damages related to any medical expenses or other losses you may have. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.



  • American Association for Justice
  • Florida Justice Association
  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
  • American Association for Justice

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Michael F. Guilford, P.A.

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