(Reuters) – A U.S. Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling late Saturday, upheld a lower court ruling that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could not enforce its coronavirus cruise ship rules in Florida.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday ruled alongside Republican-led Florida that the state was "very likely" to show that the CDC exceeded its authority when it adopted rules for resuming cruise ships.
The short order from the 11th Circuit Panel came about ten minutes before Judge Merryday's decision would take effect on Sunday, which would have made the CDC's rules a non-binding recommendation rather than mandatory.
In May, the CDC began approving certain cruise operations after lengthy talks with the industry on health and safety protocols.
Its conditional sailing regime said that cruise lines that insured at least 95% of passengers and almost all crews were vaccinated could circumvent simulated voyages faster to resume commercial voyages.
The Ministry of Justice said last week in an application to the Court of Appeal that “there is no basis for lifting the COVID-1
CDC refused to comment on Sunday.
Florida State Attorney Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody did not immediately comment on Sunday. Mr DeSantis argued that the CDC rules disregard the Florida freedom to make decisions for their families.
Florida, a major hub for cruise operators, said in April that its ports had suffered a reduction in operating revenues of nearly $ 300 million since the pandemic began.
On Tuesday, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings sued the state of Florida, saying a state law prevented it from "safely and securely resuming passenger cruise operations" from Miami beginning on August 15. A judge has set a 6 August. preliminary injunction.
Florida state law explicitly prohibits cruise lines from requiring documentation of COVID-19 vaccines. Catalog