Much has changed since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the Mandatory Sailing Order (MSA) framework last fall, including the successful resurgence of the cruise industry in other parts of the world, where nearly 400,000 passengers have sailed out since last summer, according to CLIA’s website.
Now that the vaccine has spread and President Biden has predicted that the US will be closer to normal by early July, the case for resuming swimming in the United States has never been stronger.
Current policy is not consistent with recent events
The CLIA argues that the CSO, released in late October 2020, does not take into account recent developments, including mass vaccinations in which more than 140 million doses have been injected into U.S. firearms. The cruise industry also implements a wide range of preventive health measures, including testing, contact tracing and, in some cases, restricting entry into first voyages to only those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The association notes that it will again take about 90 days to get cruise ships ready for departure, so cruise lines should start planning now if they want to resume operations by July – when the vaccines should be available to all American adults who choose to get them.
READ MORE: CLIA AND CDC : The cruise lines are ready to return to the United States.
If you are ready for cruising to be considered just like other travel and tourism industries and be allowed back in the U.S. in July 2021, please take a moment to call, email and/or tweet your U.S. senators and representatives to let them know, CLIA said.
CLIA’s website makes it easy to reach members of Congress in a variety of ways and comes at a time when pressure is mounting on policymakers and the CDC to propose a future for an industry that has been stagnant for more than a year due to the global health crisis.
The following is the content of a standard message sent to legislators from the CLIA website. Supporters can personalize the message with their own comments about why they think cruise lines should be allowed to call at U.S. ports again.
Notice to United States Senators and Representatives
I ask for your support in urging the Biden administration to treat the cruise industry like other travel and tourism industries and allow cruises to resume from U.S. ports in early July.
The CDC’s view of the Mandatory Sailing Order (MSO), published last October, does not reflect an improvement in public health and should be scaled back to support renewal in July.
Cruising is the only industry banned by the US government, although the industry has proven its ability to act responsibly. Since last summer, nearly 400,000 passengers have traveled to Europe and parts of Asia, and new markets are expected to open this spring.
The years-long suspension of U.S. cruises resulted in a loss of $39 billion and more than 300,000 U.S. jobs in various industries, including port services, industrial suppliers, hotels, travel consultants and airlines.
In addition, it will be about 90 days before the ride can resume, so the CSOs should be removed as soon as possible.
Thank you for your support in this important matter.
Other vacancies already open
Currently, Las Vegas casinos are at 50% capacity, and if the number of COVID-19 cases remains low, the casinos will be at full capacity in the first quarter. After opening with an occupancy rate of 25%, Walt Disney World has now raised that figure to 35%. Restaurants, hotels, resorts and attractions across the country welcome guests.
During a roundtable discussion with politicians and cruise officials on Friday, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said she and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis were considering legal action against the CDC if it did not act quickly to allow cruise lines to resume operations.
READ MORE: Cruise CEO: The industry has proven that it can work safely
The federal government is exceeding its authority by isolating and blacklisting the cruise industry, while other tourism businesses continue to operate within health guidelines, Moody said.
This harsh federal surplus hurts our nation’s economy and in particular Florida’s economy and our vital tourism industry. That’s why we’re calling on the Biden administration to lift the outdated injunction blocking the cruise industry in Florida and put the workers who depend on this important industry back to work, the Florida attorney general added.
Cruise lines forced to seek opportunities abroad
In recent weeks, there has been a rush of cruise lines calling at ports in the Caribbean and Europe from June to August. After a year with no tangible sales, the industry has no choice but to pick itself up where it can.
During a roundtable discussion in Florida, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said the industry deserves the same treatment as its land-based competitors.
Airlines, hotels, resorts, all sectors of the travel and tourism industry are gearing up for summer travel, Duffy said. Our ships are ready.
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