DeSantis Delivers Knock-out Punch to Covid Vaccine Passports in Florida

|
|
Posted: Apr 03, 2021 8:00 AM
DeSantis Delivers Knock-out Punch to Covid Vaccine Passports in Florida

Source: AP Photo/Phil Sears, File

While New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has fully embracing Covid-19 vaccine passports, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed to ban them. On Friday, he made good on his promise, issuing an executive order prohibiting them.

“Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports. The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon,” the governor said Friday on Twitter.

The executive order reiterates DeSantis’s position that while the state seeks to ensure every Floridian who wants a Covid vaccine can get one, it will never be mandated or required by law. Furthermore, vaccination records are private, and the notion of a vaccine passport not only infringes on that privacy but also diminishes an individual’s freedom, he said.

“[R]equiring so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports for taking part in everyday life — such as attending a sporting event, patronizing a restaurant, or going to a movie theater — would create two classes of citizens based on vaccination,” the governor added. 

  1. No Florida government entity, or its subdivisions, agents, or assigns, shall be permitted to issue vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status to a third party, or otherwise publish or share any individual’s COVID-19 vaccination record or similar health information.
  2. Businesses in Florida are prohibited from requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business.
  3. All executive agencies under my direction shall work to ensure businesses comply with this order. Any provision of Florida Statutes is hereby suspended solely to the extent it restricts a Florida agency from requiring compliance with this order as a condition for a license, permit, or other state authorization necessary for conducting business in Florida.
  4. All businesses must comply with this order to be eligible for grants or contracts funded through state revenue.
  5. The requirements in this order do not otherwise restrict businesses from instituting COVID-19 screening protocols in accordance with state and federal law to protect public health, and nothing herein shall be construed to interfere with individuals’ rights to access their own personal health information under federal law.
  6. This order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect for the duration of Executive Order 20-52, as extended. (Executive Order No. 21-81)

The move comes as private companies, the Biden administration, and foreign governments are working on developing Covid vaccine passports.