A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) plan to ban most electronic devices on cruise ships as a way to prevent a “catastrophic” cyberattack.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had asked a federal judge to keep the restrictions in place while the agency studies the potential impact on the spread of infectious disease. The CDC had asked the judge to immediately place the restrictions on ships.
If you spend any time on the Internet, you’ve probably seen the so-called “CDC cruise ban” that went into effect this week. As some have pointed out, it’s not an actual law or regulation, but a memo by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that is voluntary and might not even apply to cruises in the first place. Last week, we asked the CDC to comment on the ban and whether it is an actual regulation or not, but they have not responded.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) plea to postpone the lifting of health and safety regulations on the cruise industry was denied by a federal court.
(Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
The ruling implies that, as of July 18, the CDC’s ‘Conditional Sailing Order,’ which governs how and when cruise ships may return to service, would become non-binding suggestions rather than obligatory regulations.
In April, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis filed a lawsuit alleging that the CDC was unjustly targeting the cruise industry with regulations that did not apply to other companies, delaying the sector’s recovery, putting people out of work, and reducing tax income.
Cruise ships, according to the CDC, may contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and ports of call if they are not regulated. It defended its health and safety policies and procedures, claiming that they were created in cooperation with cruise lines.
READ: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Future Cruise Credits
The appeal filing on behalf of the CDC said, “It does not shut down the cruise industry, but rather offers a reasonable, flexible framework for reopening, based on the greatest available scientific data.”
Judge Steven Merryday ruled in favor of the state three weeks ago, issuing a preliminary injunction barring the CDC from enforcing its restrictions on ships entering or leaving from a Florida port after July 18.
The CDC’s lawyers filed an appeal and requested for the injunction to be lifted during the appeals process, but Judge Merryday flatly refused, accusing the federal agency of overreach.
Merryday wrote in large letters and bold print, “CDC’s request for a stay – a stay that would help to prolong the unjustified, unprecedented, and harmful use of governmental authority by one person, the Director of CDC — is DENIED.”
The court had some harsh words for the health department as well:
“Although the CDC invariably embellishes the argument with dire predictions of COVID-19 ‘transmission’ aboard a cruise ship, these dark allusions dismiss state and local health authorities, the cruise industry’s self-regulation, and the thorough and costly preparations and accommodations by all parties involved to avoid ‘transmission’ and to confine and control the ‘transmission,’ if one occurs,” Merryday wrote.
“In other words, CDC cannot demonstrate that any reason outweighs the necessity to end an unjustified and unprecedented use of state power.”
While the legal battle is ongoing, a limited number of ships, notably those from Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean, have previously sailed from Florida ports under the CDC’s regulations.
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On March 13, U.S. District Judge Vinson C. Bangs of the Southern District of Mississippi denied a motion by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stay his February 28 issuance of summary judgment in favor of Carnival Cruise Lines, which challenged the CDC’s regulation of certain infectious disease prevention measures on cruise ships.. Read more about cdc denied and let us know what you think.
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