Coronavirus: Judge rules in Florida’s favor, says CDC cannot enforce COVID-19 cruise ship rules

A federal judge in Florida ruled Friday that COVID-19 rules governing cruise ships set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be viewed as recommendations after July 18 but cannot be enforced.

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Specifically, U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday ruled that the agency’s conditional sailing orders imposed upon the cruise industry likely constitutes “an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to CDC,” CNN reported.

Under this conditional sailing order, the CDC stated that companies could depart without delay if 95% of passengers and crew were vaccinated. If the 95% threshold was not met, operators were required to bring volunteers on “test” trips to demonstrate that they can reduce COVID-19 risks, The Guardian reported.

In turn, Merryday ruled that mediation would be the only recourse for either side going forward, and he urged the CDC to find a modification by July 2 that still allows ships to sail without undermining the agency’s public health authority, the outlet reported.

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