Florida U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez Calls for Reduced COVID Regulations on Cruise Industry

 

Congressman Carlos Gimenez (R-FL-26) called for reduced coronavirus regulations on the cruise industry, penning a letter to Jeffrey Zients, the White House COVID coordinator.

The letter, which gathered bipartisan support, criticized a new program implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that will require cruise lines to report the vaccination status of passengers and crew for each ship, if they opt into the program.

Furthermore, the organizations must have a COVID-19 response plan.

“With this new policy and continued Level 4 advisory, the CDC is prolonging the economic devastation of the cruise industry and their community partners, including hoteliers, restaurants, airlines, longshoremen, food wholesalers, tour operators, local governments, ports, and thousands more by mandating requirements which reflect conditions that no longer exist and with total disregard for the documented data that demonstrates the success of the industry’s existing protocols to operate safely,” the group wrote in its letter.

“Cruise operators have responsibly restarted with all the necessary safeguards to protect public health and safety, and the facts do not justify the CDC’s efforts to unfairly target a single industry. We ask that you reconsider the CDC’s Level 4 travel advisory for cruises and consider intervening to modify the proposed voluntary program to treat the industry fairly and based on science and data.”

Throughout the pandemic, the cruise line industry has been one of the hardest-hit sectors, as individuals stayed home and refused to travel.

Furthermore, cases across the country have dropped in recent weeks.

“This new policy jeopardizes that economic recovery by mandating requirements which reflect conditions that no longer exist and with disregard for the documented data that demonstrates the success of the industry’s existing protocols to operate safely,” said Torin Ragin, who serves with the International Longshoremen’s Association.

Additionally, in 2021, Florida reached all-time highs in domestic tourism, potentially related to its COVID-19 policies.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Carlos Gimenez” by Rep. Carlos A. Gimenez. Background Photo “Cruise Ship” by Thomas Quine. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

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