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Florida Sues CDC over COVID-19-Related Framework for Resumption of Cruises

  • Florida AG Ashley Moody sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) over allegations that the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew (“Framework”) is unconstitutional and violates the Administrative Procedures Act.
  • The complaint alleges, among other things, that the Framework imposes onerous technical conditions on cruise ships prior to allowing them to sail in U.S. waters. The complaint argues that the Framework is arbitrary and capricious because it singles out the cruise industry for heightened safety measures even though airlines, hotels, and other tourism industries are open with reasonable safety measures. In addition, the complaint alleges that the CDC exceeded its authority in issuing the Framework and that it did not reassess the Framework in view of new information such as the rollout of the vaccination program.
  • The complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees and costs, among other things.