U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott introduced the Set Sail Safely Act (S. 4592), which would establish a Maritime Task Force, in coordination with a Private Sector Advisory Committee, to address the health, safety, security, and logistical changes needed to develop a roadmap for cruise lines to resume operations.
Currently, cruise lines are under a Centers for Disease Control No Sail Order until September 30, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Set Sail Safely Act would:
- Require the proper federal agencies, led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to work together with input from private sector stakeholders to develop a plan for the safe resumption of cruise line operations.The Maritime
- Task Force would include representatives from several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard, Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation, Department of State and the Federal Maritime Commission.
- Private Sector stakeholders would include representatives from the passenger cruise line industry, U.S. ports, commercial fishermen, small businesses and health professionals.
- Create a timeline for meetings of the Task Force, recommendations, and implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations.
As we work to solve the coronavirus and safely reopen our economy, this legislation will support the development of guidelines needed to ensure the safe resumption of our cruise lines and port operations. I will continue to work with Floridians, industry and federal leaders to safely bring back this industry, which is important to our state’s economic success
Mr. Scott said.
In addition, Adam Goldstein, Global Chair, the Cruise Lines International Association noted that the bill draws much needed attention to the importance of strategic dialogue between appropriate federal agencies and a broad group of public and private sector stakeholders to safely advance a resumption of cruising in the U.S. that mirrors the gradual and successful restart of cruise operations in Europe.
In the same wavelength, Christopher J. Connor, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities, applauded the bill, which aims to establish a Maritime Task Force and a private sector advisory committee to address the issues relating to resumption of U.S. cruise operations during the COVID–19 pandemic.
The Set Sail Safely Act is much-needed legislation that will help inform federal policy on the most appropriate and safe reopening protocols for our nation’s cruise industry, which in 2018 contributed $53 billion to the U.S. economy. We’re particularly pleased Senator Scott’s bill includes creating a private sector advisory committee of subject matter experts
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