A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from enforcing its no-sail order for cruises giving the state of Florida a "major victory" in its lawsuit against the federal government.
In granting the injunction, the judge said the CDC can't enforce its conditional sailing order against a cruise ship arriving in, within or departing from a port in Florida.
The federal government shut down all cruises in March of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, the state of Florida filed a lawsuit against the CDC over its no-sail order.
The current CDC process requires each ship that will be permitting non-vaccinated guests to complete a simulation cruise before receiving approval to resume sailing once again from U.S. ports.
The CDC is allowing ships with 98% vaccinated crew and 95% vaccinated guests to skip that step.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called Friday's ruling a "major victory" against the CDC and their "obstructionist" no-sail orders.
"The CDC has been wrong all along, and they knew it," DeSantis said in a statement. "The CDC and the Biden Administration concocted a plan to sink the cruise industry, hiding behind bureaucratic delay and lawsuits. Today, we are securing this victory for Florida families, for the cruise industry, and for every state that wants to preserve its rights in the face of unprecedented federal overreach."
Florida is the nation’s cruise capital with three of the world’s busiest ports: Miami, Port Canaveral near Kennedy Space Center, and Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale. The cruise industry generates billions for the economy and employs tens of thousands of Floridians.
The injunction is stayed until July 18, when the CDC's orders will be considered "recommendations" or "guidelines," the judge said in the order.
"The state fought on behalf of the cruise industry in Florida to secure the ability to resume operations without overly burdensome requirements that discriminate against children, leave most of the ships sitting in port, and disregard the freedom of Floridians to make decisions for their families," DeSantis said in the statement. "Beginning July 18, the CDC’s orders will become mere 'guidance,' and cruise ships will hit the open waters once again free from the CDC."