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Alaska says it will sue the CDC to restart cruising

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said that the state will join Florida in suing the CDC to try to overturn the Conditional Sailing Order (CSO).

Florida sued the Biden administration in federal district court on April 8 to overturn the CSO, saying the yearlong lockdown of the cruise industry by the federal government had "directly harmed the state of Florida, its citizens and their families, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars in economic activity."

Speaking Tuesday at a virtual Alaska Travel Industry Association conference, Dunleavy said that Alaska would likely join Florida's lawsuit by tomorrow.

"We try and work with the CDC and the feds on the cruise ships issues," he said. "Unfortunately, we've had to put together a lawsuit, which will be joining with Florida probably by tomorrow. And we will work with the federal government to try and mitigate their decision on the no-sail order for Alaska. As we know, Alaska has mitigated this virus better than most."

Dunleavy hinted recently that Alaska may follow Florida's lead, if it didn't get "positive dialogue" about the cruising ban. He told Fox News that not having a big-ship cruise season for the second year in a row "will be crushing to Alaska," which would lose $3.3 billion in state GDP.

Large cruise ships that operate Alaska sailings are doubly regulated, with foreign-flagged carriers having to stop in a Canadian port in order to satisfy U.S. cabotage laws. As of now, Canada has a cruise ship ban in place through February. Alaska lawmakers say they are trying to work with Canadian officials on ways to call at Canadian ports without disembarking passengers or crew.

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