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Gov. DeSantis issues executive order prohibiting COVID-19 vaccine passports

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives a COVID-19 update in Palm Harbor on March 17, 2021.jpg
Posted at 1:25 PM, Apr 02, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday forbidding local governments and businesses from requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Executive Order 21-81 states:

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ron DeSantis, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section 1(a) of the Florida Constitution and by the Florida Emergency Management Act, as amended, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order:

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."

DeSantis' order said the State of Florida is leading the effort to distribute the vaccine to elderly and vulnerable populations of the State and has successfully provided vaccines to nearly 3.5 million seniors, and:

"many Floridians have not yet had the opportunity to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination, some have infection-acquired immunity, and others may be unable to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination due to health, religious, or other reasons; and Florida seeks to ensure that every Floridian who desires a COVID-19 vaccine can obtain one, but such vaccines will not be mandated; and no COVID-19 vaccine is required by law; and individual COVID-19 vaccination records are private health information which should not be shared by mandate; and so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy; and requiring 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; and it is necessary to protect the fundamental rights and privacies of Floridians and the free flow of commerce within the state."

DeSantis has spoken out against “vaccine passports” and said he will take steps to ban businesses from refusing to serve people who can’t prove they’ve been vaccinated.

“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 participate in normal society,” he said at a news conference in Tallahassee.

“You want to go to a movie theater. Should you have to show that? No. You want to go to a game, should you have to show that? No. You want to go to a theme park? No. We’re not supportive of that,” DeSantis said.

The order is effective immediately and all businesses must comply with this order to be eligible for grants or contracts funded through state revenue.