A federal appeals court has temporarily put on hold the lower court’s ruling that would have ended restrictions on cruise vessels in Florida from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
The 2-1 panel decision came on Saturday, July 17, at 11:50 p.m., ~10 minutes before the rules would have ended.
In a court filing before the ruling, the CDC said:
“The undisputed evidence shows that unregulated cruise ship operations would exacerbate the spread of COVID-19, and that the hard to the public that would result from such operations cannot be undone.”
For cruise ships to resume sailing this year, they had to meet certain thresholds. The CDC had said they would greenlight cruises if 98% of a ship’s crew and 95% of passengers were vaccinated. If not, the companies had to hold test sailings.
Florida, which banned businesses from requiring vaccine passports, sued in order to remove the restrictions.
Tampa-based Judge Steven Merryday ruled it was “highly likely” that the Centers exceeded its authority.
The decision of the appeals court is not a final ruling but allows the restrictions to stay in place while the CDC appeals the ruling.
Cruise lines face US$5,000 fines per customer for asking for proof they have gotten one of the COVID vaccines.