Miami, Jun 3 (EFE) .- Three mayors from southeastern Florida asked the governor, Ron DeSantis, to "reconsider" the rule that prevents cruise ships from requiring proof of anticovid vaccination for their passengers as part of the reactivation of this sector, paralyzed since March 2020 due to the pandemic.
Florida questions vaccination requirement to resume cruises
"The industry has made it clear that they will not sail from our ports unless they can make sure their crew and passengers are vaccinated," said Broward County Mayors Steve Geller and the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Dean Trantalis, and Hollywood, Josh Levy.
DeSantis promoted and formed a law that prohibits requiring proof of vaccination from companies, which includes cruise ships, and which takes effect on July 1.
Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has offered two options to shipping lines for the resumption of cruises, probably starting in July.
One is the vaccination of 95% of the passengers and 98% of the crew, and the other is to make test trips to test their sanitary protocols that do not include vaccination.
"While cruise lines are ready to sail in accordance with CDC guidelines, they are currently unable to do so in accordance with state 'Passport Vaccine' rules," the mayors said in a letter sent to DeSantis on Wednesday.
"Our interests are in seeing the cruise ships set sail again from Port Everglades (port in Broward County), with the jobs and the economic impact that this will bring to our county and cities," the mayors said.
They ask the Republican DeSantis to "reconsider" the measure for the cruise industry, which punishes with 5,000 dollars for each passenger who asks for proof of the covid-19 vaccine.
Mayors note that the CDC has provided guidance and cruise lines are resuming operations.
They stressed that all the signs they have seen "are that many passengers are not willing to start sailing again without knowing that their fellow travelers and the crew are vaccinated."
They were also concerned that "this stalemate on the rules will result in the loss of the cruise industry in Broward County and Florida in general."
In this sense, they urged DeSantis to "devise a solution that allows the industry to operate from our ports."
"The private sector cruise industry wants to be able to assure its passengers that the crew and their fellow travelers are vaccinated. The industry believes that without this requirement, passengers will not travel by cruise," they reiterated.
They also noted that the federal government "has the right to regulate" cruise ship activities, alluding to a lawsuit by DeSantis to the CDC that argues otherwise.
"We fear that strict compliance with the 'No Vaccine Passport' rules, an issue opposed by the private sector and the federal government (which has jurisdiction) will also prevent what the four of us want, which is to reopen cruise ships in Florida. ".
DeSantis' lawsuit was filed last April, but Judge Steven Merryday refused to rule on an appeal filed by the state government to stop the "no-navigation order" immediately and in return submitted both governments to mediation, which failed. .