CDC appeals DeSantis lawsuit; U.S. court upholds cruise requirements for now

Jul 18, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requirements that have allowed some cruise ships to resume sailings from the United States will remain in place for now, pending the results of an appeal filed by the CDC, a U.S. appellate court says.

July 17 motion of stay granted (Screenshot courtesy of PACER)

In a 2-to-1 vote Saturday, the U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit granted a stay that will, at least temporarily, allow the CDC to continue requiring cruise lines to operate from Florida under the agency’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order restrictions.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s cruise newsletter.

The order, which replaced the CDC’s No-Sail Order in late 2020, requires vessels departing from the U.S. to sail with at least 95% of passengers fully vaccinated. Lines not committing to reaching that threshold must submit to test sailings that allow CDC officials to walk through protocols with officers and crew on each individual ship before it’s allowed to sail.

In April, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sued the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in an effort to have the conditional sailing order removed and jumpstart cruise industry operations. In June, District Judge Steven D. Merryday, who presides over the Middle District of Florida, ruled in favor of Florida, granting DeSantis a win and slapping the CDC with an injunction, effective July 18.

June 18 injunction granted (Screenshot courtesy of PACER)

On July 6, 12 days before the conditional sailing order was set to roll back under Merryday’s ruling, the CDC and HHS filed an appeal and requested a motion to stay. The U.S. appellate court’s granting of the stay essentially freezes rollback of the CDC’s cruise requirements until the appeal can be fully heard.

It’s important to note that this does not affect the ability of currently operating cruise ships to continue sailing, nor does it prevent scheduled test voyages from taking place. What it does mean is that regulations — such as testing and mask wearing — on certain ships will continue to remain in place, pre-cruise and onboard, until either the CDC changes its mind or loses the appeal.

Cruise lines that are sailing at least 95% vaccinated, including Carnival and Celebrity, are not requiring vaccinated passengers to wear masks onboard anyway, and on sailings from Florida, they aren’t currently allowed to ask for vaccine verification.

Additionally, Royal Caribbean, which has completed test sailings in order to sail with a larger number of unvaccinated passengers, has created “vaccinated only” spaces where inoculated cruisers are able to remove their masks indoors.

Official court documents for the stay say that one judge dissented, and opinions will follow.

Featured photo by TAMI CHAPPELL/AFP via Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.