Florida’s cruise lawsuit hearing could be pivotal in effort to lift CDC restrictions

Judge set to hear arguments Thursday as cruise lines close in on restart

Florida will continue its legal efforts to remove the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “no sail order” in the courtroom on Thursday.
Florida will continue its legal efforts to remove the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “no sail order” in the courtroom on Thursday.

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – Florida will continue its legal efforts to remove the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “no sail order” in the courtroom on Thursday.

Lawyers for Gov. Ron DeSantis and a legal team for the federal government will present more arguments to a judge in Tampa as the state continues its push to move the CDC out of the way from cruising’s restart.

Wednesday at Port Canaveral, three docked cruise ships, including Carnival’s brand-new Mardi Gras, show momentum continues to build toward summer test cruises.

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Florida’s first simulated voyage will be in Miami in just 11 days. Port Canaveral’s first test cruise is scheduled for June 29.

Port Canaveral’s CEO said he’ll attend Thursday’s hearing.

“Gov. DeSantis and his Attorney General, they really started moving the needle with the lawsuit,” Captain John Murray said.

After the governor announced filing the state’s lawsuit in April, both sides went to mediation but did not reach a compromise.

At a new hearing Thursday, Murray expects the judge could now decide if CDC restrictions could be lifted immediately.

“When he sent it to mediation and now it’s back in the courtroom, I can only imagine he’ll make some sort of decision tomorrow just because this has been going on for over a month,” Murray said.

However the lawsuit turns out, the port said the cruise lines are finally on a path to restarting.

“One way or the other, they’re going to get started,” Murray said.

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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.