Following concerns about the state and federal government failing to reach an agreement over the fate of the cruise industry, the sides will be back in federal court in Tampa on Thursday.
The court set a hearing to address more issues surrounding Florida’s lawsuit over safety regulations and vaccines for the state’s cruise industry.
Florida’s lawsuit had been in settlement discussions at the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, in the Tampa division. The lawsuit involves the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and states with major ports, including Florida, Texas and Alaska. The CDC is a defendant as well as the U.S. Health and Human Services agency.
Peter Lobasso, senior vice president and general counsel at the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), told the Phoenix that “the latest activity in the case relates to the recent passage of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act (ATRA), which the government defendants assert supports its position opposing Florida’s application for a preliminary injunction.”
However, attorneys for the state of Florida “strongly disputed that assertion, claiming that ATRA, applying only to Alaska ships, actually supports Florida’s view,” Lobasso said in an email to the Florida Phoenix.
The hearing Thursday is scheduled “to review issues addressed incompletely in the earlier hearing, to evaluate the supplemental record and the consequent briefs, and any other matter,” according to the court documents.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has been in support of the shuttered cruise industry but has created a conundrum because he is against businesses requiring guests to prove their vaccination status – a key element for people to travel on cruise ships.
DeSantis announced on Thursday that Florida is at an impasse to reach a compromise after failing “to reach a compromise” with the federal government over the fate of the cruise industry, as previously reported by the Florida Phoenix.