Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order on Friday “prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports” in the state of Florida:
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. Read my EO here – https://t.co/6QwLsLWEWm
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 2, 2021
The order applies to state government AND businesses:
It’s not exactly clear just how it will be enforced but the order does say “all businesses must comply with this order to be eligible for grants or contracts funded through state revenue”:
But. . .
It doesn’t sound like the legislature is exactly on board with DeSantis’ decision. From the Orlando Sentinel:
Senate President Wilton Simpson said Thursday that he doesn’t think passports should be required. But Simpson didn’t make any promises that the Senate would pass a ban.
“So it’s something that we will certainly attempt to address if there is an appropriate bill to do that with,” Simpson, R-Trilby, told reporters.
Last week, Simpson told reporters that private businesses should be able to operate as they see fit.
“On the surface, I would say ‘yes’ because they are a private business.” Simpson said when asked if businesses should be able to require customers to have passports. “They can do what they want. But, clearly, they will bear the responsibility of that decision.”
A number of Florida businesses are already requiring proof of vaccination to attend. For example, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival says you need proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test:
Organizers plan to move forward with this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival. But because of the pandemic, they’ll want guests and staff to provide proof of a COVID vaccine or negative test. https://t.co/DqY6BNg3Wb
— CBS4 Miami (@CBSMiami) March 15, 2021
And the Miami Heat announced a section for fully vaccinated fans:
The Miami Heat will designate two sections at AmericanAirlines Arena for fully vaccinated fans presenting vaccine cards dated at least 14 days prior to the game. Your thoughts on more teams doing this?
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) March 30, 2021
Many cruise lines are requiring proof of vaccination, too (although the CDC won’t let them sail out of U.S. ports until at least November):
Cruises will be back from next MONTH as Royal Caribbean launches new vaccine passport scheme https://t.co/2Q2zMPuhuq
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) April 2, 2021
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava even lobbied the CDC to allow cruising from Florida this summer for vaccinated passengers:
As vaccination expands and we work to rebound and reinvigorate our economy, we are eager to partner with the @CDCgov to create a plan to safely restart the cruising industry – a cornerstone of Miami-Dade’s economy and prosperity.
— Daniella Levine Cava (@MayorDaniella) March 18, 2021
We’ll have to wait and see what happens next as it sounds like the CDC is moving toward the vaccine-only plan:
I was very encouraged by my call today with @CDCgov, & excited to learn they will be issuing new guidelines for a safe restart to cruising. Miami-Dade is ready to partner with the CDC to make sure the Cruise Capital of the World can lead the way to rebuild this critical industry. pic.twitter.com/fOhnayqXzq
— Daniella Levine Cava (@MayorDaniella) April 1, 2021