MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Just one day after Florida filed a lawsuit against the federal government and the CDC to demand cruise ships be allowed to begin sailing immediately, cruise executives along with local politicians, and hospitality and tourism industry leaders are holding a news conference at PortMiami on Friday afternoon.
“We support the cruise lines getting back because we know they can do it safely,” said Miami-Dade Mayor
Daniella Levine Cava
South Florida is losing millions of dollars with the cruise shut down because of the pandemic.
Thousands of port workers in Miami-Dade and Broward have lost their jobs since the CDC issued a no sail order in the U.S. after COVID outbreaks and deaths at sea.
“It’s sad. I can barely make ends meet,” said Port Miami longshoreman Derrick Lloyd who was laid off last March.
The CDC had issued travel guidelines that say fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S. without getting tested for the coronavirus or going into quarantine afterwards.
It also issued more technical details around its conditional plan to allow cruise ships in U.S. ports, but it did not say when cruise lines could resume sailing despite the new guidance.READ MORE: Norwegian Cruises Wants To Resume Sailing From US Ports In July
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky still urged caution and said she would “advocate against general travel overall” given the rising number of infections.
“All the cruise lines are working toward the best protocols,” Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, said.
The company’s CEO says they have stepped up safety measures in other parts of the world, and it is working.
“The Royal Caribbean group alone has carried over 100,000 guests, and of that, we’ve only had 10 cases,” Fain said.
So, what’s next? The CDC says the next phase could include simulated voyages where crew members can practice safety protocols with volunteers.
Florida is the nation’s cruise capital with three of the world’s busiest ports: PortMiami, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral.MORE NEWS: Cruise Ship Companies Operating Out Of American Ports Frustrated With Glacial Reopening Of Industry
On Friday the head of Virgin Voyages which scuttled its maiden US voyage last year said they can’t wait
any longer “We are launching from the UK in August and may be back here in September,” said Thomas McAlpin.