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Cruise lines likely to stick to CDC rules, no matter the court's decision: expert

Whatever happens in Florida's case against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cruise lines are likely to stick to the COVID-19 procedures set by the agency, an industry operations expert said.

'My view is that the policies the CDC set will remain in place at the cruise lines, and some are even going above and beyond those. There's no chance the industry does a 180 at this point. I believe the lines will stick with what the CDC has instituted,' the expert told Seatrade Cruise News.

CSO set to become non-binding July 18

As of this writing, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has not acted on the CDC's July 8 motion to stay District Court Judge Steven Merryday's ruling on the preliminary injunction in Florida's favor. So, unless the appeals court grants CDC a further stay, as of July 18, the regulations under the conditional sailing order will become a non-binding 'consideration,' 'recommendation' or 'guideline' — the same tools used by CDC when addressing the practices in other industries.

No comment from lines

Cruise operators variously either declined to comment or did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

As for the Miami-based operations expert: 'Even though the CDC's authority is challenged, I believe the policies will continue because the results have been positive so far, and keeping these policies in place will reassure the public cruising is safe. I don't see anything changing.'