The U.S. government—which has been sued by the state of Florida over the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s restrictions on cruise ships amid the coronavirus pandemic—says the health agency is acting “lawfully and reasonably.” The legal battle began after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis followed up on a threat made in March to sue if the federal government didn’t end the “national lockdown” of the industry, which has kept cruise lines from operating in his state. Florida had argued in court that the CDC requirements for cruise lines operating in the U.S., which require testing for crew members and proof of vaccinations for staff and passengers, are beyond the agency’s authority to impose. However, lawyers for the federal government have countered by arguing that the activity of cruise ships is under CDC jurisdiction and that the agency is acting within the law. Earlier this month, Florida enacted legislation banning businesses from requiring proof of vaccination from customers, causing one company, Norwegian Cruise Line, to threaten to skip ports in the state.
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