Port Canaveral CEO, Capt. John Murray Expresses Disappointment with CDC Conditional Sail Order Announcement
By Space Coast Daily // April 3, 2021
No Sail Order has been in effect since March 14
ABOVE VIDEO: Governor Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. held a roundtable discussion last week with cruise industry executives and employees to highlight the importance of this critical industry to Florida’s economy.
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Capt. John Murray, Port Canaveral CEO, expressed his displeasure with the latest announcement by the CDC on Friday by issuing the latest phase of the conditional sail order for cruise ship operators.
“For a year now, we have been working closely with our cruise partners and directly with the CDC to find a way forward for the return of cruising from Port Canaveral,” said Capt. John Murray.
“Just today, CDC announced that vaccinated Americans could safely travel internationally. We’re disappointed that this guidance for the cruise industry appears to be nothing more than an incremental step in a far-reaching process to resume passenger sailings in the U.S. with no definitive or target start date.”
Port Canaveral is the second busiest cruise port in the world.
Florida leaders have been vocal lately against some of the CDC guidelines regarding the cruise industry. So much so, it prompted Gov. Ron DeSantis’ visiting Port Canaveral last week for a roundtable discussion with Attorney General Ashley Moody and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E., along with cruise industry executives and employees to highlight the importance of this critical industry to Florida’s economy.
During the discussion, Gov. DeSantis called on the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to rescind its no-sail order which the CDC has indicated will remain in place until November 1, 2021.
“The federal government has provided guidance to all other passenger transportation modes and other industries; however, it has failed to issue guidance for the cruise industry to assist in its recovery,” said Gov. DeSantis.
“In addition to the lack of guidance, the federal government has neglected to provide relief funding to seaports while airports and transit agencies have received assistance through previous relief packages.”
Earlier this month, Governor DeSantis recommended Florida’s seaports receive $258.2 million out of the state’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to account for the losses accrued due to the no-sail order.
“If there is one thing we’ve learned over the past year, it’s that lockdowns don’t work, and Floridians deserve the right to earn a living,” said Governor DeSantis.
“The cruise industry is essential to our state’s economy and keeping it shut down until November would be devastating to the men and women who rely on the cruise lines to provide for themselves and their families. I urge the CDC to immediately rescind this baseless no-sail order to allow Floridians in this industry to get back to work.”
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody also voiced her dissatisfaction with the CDC and the federal government over the existing policies placed on the cruise industry.
“It’s anchors aweigh for almost every travel industry in the U.S., yet the Biden administration is keeping our cruise liners docked—while many other major countries begin to operate cruises safely under health guidelines. The rationale for keeping U.S. cruises shuttered through the foreseeable future is based on outdated data and guidelines put in place before we had a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.
“The federal government is acting outside its authority in singling out and docking the cruise industry while other tourism-based businesses continue to operate in accordance with health guidelines. This heavy-handed federal overreach is harming our nation’s economy and is especially damaging to Florida’s economy and our vital tourism industry. That is why, we are calling on the Biden administration to lift the outdated lockdown order on Florida’s cruise industry and allow workers who rely on this important industry to get back to work.”
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