Hopes by senators from the two biggest cruise states to overrule the CDC and re-start cruising in U.S. waters by 04JUL have been dashed.
As Open Jaw reported, the Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements (CRUISE) Act was tabled earlier this month by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan.
If passed, the Act would have revoked the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order, currently in place until NOV, and required the organization to provide guidance that would allow domestic cruising to resume.
However, a senator from another cruise state has blocked passage of the bill.
“While I am as eager as anyone else to see a return to travel, we cannot cut corners. Doing so risks lives and will only further delay returning to normal, hurting our economy more in the long run,” Senator Patty Murray of Washington State is reported by CruiseHive as saying in the U.S. Senate last week.
She acknowledged the economic importance of cruising, including in her own state. Nonetheless, she concluded, “We must trust the science and we must allow the CDC to continue its work to help us return to what we love as safely as possible. So I will continue to work with CDC and the administration as they develop the next phase of their cruising guidance, but for now, I object.”
While Murray’s objection defeats the CRUISE Act, politicians in Alaska and Florida are still working on other ways to circumvent the CDC’s effective ban on cruising.
Alaska recently joined Florida in its lawsuit against the CDC, attempting to overturn the CSO.
On its part, CDC has said that a resumption of cruising “is possible by mid-summer under the existing framework.”