Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said yesterday that he plans to issue an executive order that would stop jurisdictions’ governments and businesses from requiring so-called vaccination passports – protection from a person vaccinated against COVID-19 – from customers in their communities.
He announced his intent during a March 29. ceremony at the Capitol, where he signed a bill passed by the Legislature that prevents COWIDA-related lawsuits against Florida businesses, provided they make a good faith effort to comply with official guidelines to stop the spread of the virus.
His comments on vaccine passports came on the day that vaccines were becoming available to more Floridians and the age of eligibility for vaccines had just been lowered to 40. The minimum age is the 5th day. April to 18, DeSantis said last week.
But regardless of when the demand for vaccines increases, DeSantis remains firmly opposed to the idea of vaccination cards and has already said he will take steps to prohibit companies from denying service to people without proof of their vaccination status.
According to the Associated Press, DeSantis said: It is completely unacceptable for the government or the private sector to require you to prove that you have been vaccinated in order to participate in normal society.
During a news conference and in the presence of House Speaker Chris Sproules and Senate President Wilton Simpson, DeSantis reportedly urged the Republican-led legislature to draft a measure on the issue that he could sign into law, but would not elaborate.
DeSantis had already flatly rejected general mandates and used his executive powers to prevent local governments (at the district, municipal, or borough level) from adopting or implementing such measures. His priority was to revitalize Florida’s economy rather than focus on the epidemic, and the Sunshine State now receives tourists without restriction.
Statistics from the Florida Department of Health show that as of yesterday, 5.67 million Florida residents had received at least one dose of one of the urgently approved COVID-19 vaccines.
Florida’s governor strongly opposes President Joe Biden’s support for federal-level recognition of a standardized set of COVID-19 vaccination certificates. However, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday that vaccinations would not be mandatory and that the development of vaccination cards would be left to the private sector.
Our job is to make sure that any solutions in this area are simple, free, open source, available to people both digitally and on paper, and designed to protect people’s privacy from the start, said Jeff Zients, White House Coronavirus program coordinator, during a briefing on the 12th. March.