(The middle place) – Three Republican U.S. Senators from tourism-dependent states this week put new laws in place to lift COVID-19 restrictions on cruise lines by July 4th this year. If enacted, the measure could be a lifesaver for the injured industry, adding billions to the economies of pandemic-hit states.

Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), And Rick Scott (R-Fla.) Introduced the CRUISE Act this week for the careful recovery.

The bill would oblige the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lift their previous ban on cruises by Independence Day and make clear recommendations on how the industry can reduce the risk to passengers and crew.

“Unlike airlines, rail and other modes of transport – and all other sectors of the hospitality industry – the cruise lines have been denied clear instructions by the CDC to resume operations,” said Sullivan. As a result, potential cruises are no longer possible this summer when the president said the country can go back to normal with more and more Americans vaccinated. The sluggish, mixed messages and unresponsiveness of CDC leaders are completely unacceptable and ultimately endanger the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Americans and hundreds of small businesses across Alaska that rely on the tourism sector. “

The CDC released the “Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Stage COVID-19 Test Requirements to Protect the Crew,” which stopped cruises. The CDC originally released the restrictions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for passengers and crew and prevent the cruise lines from becoming hubs where infected Americans are sent back to their communities.

President Joe Biden said the vaccine should soon be available to all Americans and that the country can return to normal levels by July 4th, the day that the CDC would have to change its rules as a result of these legislative proposals.

A widely vaccinated public who had to cancel last year’s vacation because of COVID-19 could rush to the newly opened cruise lines and create a barrage of demand and cash for the injured tourism industry.

The Democrats have been largely silent on the proposed legislation so far, and Senator Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., did not respond to the request for comment.

The cruise industry grew to $ 55.5 billion in 2019, before COVID, and created 436,000 American jobs, according to a report by the Cruise Lines International Association.

States that had strong cruise industries prior to the pandemic are particularly hard hit. In 2019, the Florida cruise industry created a total of 159,000 jobs and paid $ 8.1 billion in income. This excludes cruise ship corporate and administrative offices, many of which are based in Florida.

Alaska generated $ 1.3 billion in cruise industry revenue in 2019, creating 23,000 jobs with wages of approximately $ 1.2 billion.

The spread of COVID-19 hit the cruise and tourism industries hard last year, wiping out vacations and scheduled cruises, and dropping demand for vacation spots.

“The benefits of cruising are critical to the economies of Florida’s port cities,” said Rubio. “Floridians and many other Americans who work in ports, cruise lines, or in the hospitality industry near cruise terminals face an uncertain future as the CDC does not respond to inquiries from stakeholders.”

The three senators have allied with MP María Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., Who is leading her efforts in the house. Salazar represents Miami, the nation’s leading cruise hub. Florida relies on the cruise industry for jobs and tax revenue.

“Miami is the cruise capital of the world and it is time to start sailing again,” said Salazar. “I am proud to join my Senate colleagues in waging this battle indoors so our ships can return to sea, our dockworkers can return to port, and Americans can start cruising again. This legislation will set the CDC’s arbitrary guidelines and provide clarity and fairness to the industry that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs across Miami’s tourism industry. “

The cruise industry has expressed its support for the legislative measure.

“The uncertainty we’ve lived with over the past year is probably the most devastating for a business owner,” said Jeannette Pineiro, president of Cruiseport Destinations in Miami. “I have former employees who are still unemployed. You want to go back to work and there was nothing I could do. The cruise industry needs to be equated with other sectors of the travel industry and this legislation would provide a plan to safely resume cruise operations. “

Since the ban on cruise sailing, the tourism industry has seen a decline in sales. The legislature cited these economic factors in its decision to introduce the legislation.

“Florida is a tourism state with thousands of jobs that depend on the success of our ports, cruise lines, and the maritime industries,” said Sen. Scott. “While many industries have been working safely under CDC guidelines for months, Floridians and those around the country who rely on the cruise industry to do their jobs continue to await updated guidelines from the CDC. The CDC’s refusal to properly address this shutdown is wrong and it is time to safely open the cruise lines. “