It has now been more than a year since the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued their initial No Sail Order, and cruising from our Port and other cruise ports was shutdown. We continue to work with our cruise partners and the CDC on the required technical guidance for a safe return to cruising. While we await the resumption of cruising, Port Canaveral continues to work hard at maintaining our state of readiness.
Congress recently passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 which allows State and local governments to transfer funding from federal allocations to public seaports like Port Canaveral. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has recommended Florida’s seaports be provided a portion of the state’s COVID-19 federal relief funds to help us recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first feasible emergency relief funding option available for Port Canaveral since the start of the pandemic in early 2020 and would greatly help our efforts to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its negative economic impacts on our Port. We thank Governor DeSantis and Florida Dept. of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault for recognizing and supporting our critical mission as a gateway of commerce and we look forward to working with FDOT and our legislators on our financial needs as they work through the Governor’s requests.
The COVID-19 virus is still affecting our country, state and community in many ways. It’s encouraging to see the vaccine has been rolling out into our communities and reaching at-risk priority populations including our teachers, first responders, healthcare personnel and older citizens. We continue to monitor the availability of the vaccines for essential workers and how that may impact Port Canaveral and its employees. It’s important that we continue to remain vigilant with good hygiene practices which includes regular hand washing, wearing a mask or facial covering and practicing social distancing whenever possible.
Port Canaveral remains dedicated to carrying out our mission as we continue to endure rough seas. We look forward to moving into calmer waters soon and reviving the economic prosperity we have delivered for decades to our surrounding community and the State of Florida!
About the Author:
Capt. John W. Murray is at the helm of Port Canaveral, one of Florida’s fastest-growing seaports. A highly respected maritime executive, Capt. Murray brings a wealth of maritime experience to his role as Chief Executive Officer and Port Director for one of the world’s most dynamic ports. He manages a world-class gateway for cruises, cargo, recreation and logistics, as well as a gateway to new frontiers, including space.