Florida governor bans ‘vaccine passports’


FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Monday he would issue an executive order prohibiting local governments and businesses from requiring so-called “vaccine passports” to show proof that customers have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

He made the announcement on a day that more Floridians would become eligible for vaccination and in a ceremony he gathered at the State Capitol to sign a bill approved by the legislature on Friday that would ban prosecution COVID-related against successful companies. -efforts of faith to comply with guidelines intended to stop the spread of the virus.

While the governor has already spoken out against “vaccine passports,” he said he would take the additional step of banning companies from refusing to serve people who cannot prove they have been vaccinated.

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“It is totally unacceptable that the government or the private sector impose an obligation on you to present proof of vaccine just to participate in normal society,” said the governor.

DeSantis, who was joined at his press conference by House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson, called on the Republican-led Legislature to send him a measure for his signature that would dedicate the question in law, but he did not specify the details. .

The governor rejected masked warrants and used his executive power to prevent local governments from implementing such measures. He did so to reopen the state’s economy after much of it was shut down a year ago to help control the coronavirus outbreak.

The Florida governor’s crackdown comes as President Joe Biden’s administration lobbies for “vaccine passports.”

“Our role is to help ensure that all solutions in this area are simple, free, open source, accessible to people both digitally and on paper, and designed from the ground up to protect people’s privacy”, Jeff Zients, White House coronavirus coordinator, said in a March 12 briefing.

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The “vaccine passports” are expected to be free, available through smartphone apps, printable, and have a scannable code similar to an airline boarding pass.

Dr. Mobeen H. Rathore, infectious disease specialist at UF Health, sees an advantage in vaccinations but is hesitant about “vaccine passports”.

“There has to be equitable availability of the vaccine before we can say you’ll have to show me you’re vaccinated to do XYZ activity,” Rathore said. “At this point, I think it’s maybe a little premature to talk about it because, you know, you ask me for a vaccine passport, and I can’t get the vaccine, so I think it’s not. is not fair. I think this is the wrong thing to do.

More Floridians became eligible for vaccinations on Monday when the state lowered the minimum age to 40. The requirement will be lowered again on April 5 to include anyone aged 18 and over, DeSantis announced last week.

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As of Monday, 5.67 million people in Florida had received at least one dose of the three COVID-19 vaccines, according to health statistics provided by the Florida Department of Health.

State records show that 2.53 million people received the first dose of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. And 3.14 million people have completed the vaccine series or received the single dose of Johnson & Johnson

The state of Florida reported 2,047,379 coronavirus cases and 33,891 deaths on Monday.

DeSantis said allowing governments and businesses to require proof of vaccination would be “an unprecedented expansion” of public and private power. But the governor appeared to differentiate between COVID-19 vaccinations and require parents to prove to schools that their children have been protected from other infectious diseases such as measles, which he called ” more problematic ”.

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