PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — Inside Fishlips Waterfront Bar and Grill, tables are filling up.
Owner Rich Hensel said it’s a huge relief after tourism took a huge hit during the pandemic.
“We were barely surviving … without the cruise ships being here,” he said.
That relief may be short-lived.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 88 ships are now either under investigations or observation. Four others are being monitored.
The agency is now recommending all passengers, even those vaccinated, avoid cruising due to omicron.
Hensel said right now, despite the comeback in tourism, they’re dealing with staff shortages and supply chain issues.
Adding fewer ships leaving the port to that mix could be catastrophic for business owners like him.
“It would be a tremendous hurt to the local economy and the restaurants,” Hansel said.