A new executive order bans any Florida government agency from issuing a vaccine passport and restricts any business from requiring them before allowing a customer to enter.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With a key lawmaker saying he recognizes that vaccine hesitancy is "real and understandable," the Florida House on Wednesday approved a measure that would limit local emergency orders and make permanent Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order barring COVID-19 vaccine "passports."
The House voted 76-40 to approve the proposal (SB 2006), which Pandemics & Public Emergencies Committee Chairman Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, said would prepare Florida for the next public-health emergency while striking a "delicate balance between protecting people and protecting people's civil liberties."
We also must recognize that COVID-19 vaccines don't have the same proven history as the same vaccines we require our schoolchildren to get," Leek said. "We must recognize that vaccine hesitancy is real and understandable.
DeSantis on April 2 issued the executive order blocking COVID-19 passports, which he said would create "huge" privacy issues that could result in people handing over medical information to a "big corporation."
"It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society," DeSantis said before signing the order. "If you want to go to the movie theater, should you have to show that? No. If you want to go to a game, no. If you want to go to a theme park, no. … I think it’s something that people have certain freedoms and individual liberties to make decisions for themselves."
The bill would prohibit businesses, schools and government entities from requiring customers to show documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccinations or post-infection recovery.
In addition to barring COVID-19 passports, the measure would require local emergency orders to be narrowly tailored and to be extended in seven-day increments for a total duration of 42 days. Currently, such orders can be issued initially for seven days and extended indefinitely in seven-day increments.