TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis started the week by announcing Florida would not implement a vaccine passport system, and by Friday, he made it official with an executive order.
The order states vaccine passports “will reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy,” and are therefore prohibited from being distributed.
It goes on to say vaccine passports would create two classes of citizens based on vaccinations for everyday activities such as eating at a restaurant or going to the movies.
The governor’s order applies to all government agencies and entities, but it doesn’t stop there.
It also says that businesses won’t be allowed to require proof of vaccination from customers to enter or receive service. However, COVID-19 screenings can still take place as long as they fit within the parameters of the law.
So, how will businesses be held accountable?
According to the executive order, agencies under the governor’s direction will be tasked with making sure businesses comply. If a business fails to comply, the order states that they could lose access to grants or contracts funded through state revenue.
The order went into effect immediately after the governor’s signature landed on paper.
Proof of vaccination when traveling isn’t an entirely new concept. Previously, in some cases when entering a new country, you may be asked to show your “yellow card” which is a card issued by the CDC showing a history of your recent vaccinations.
Currently, in the U.S., proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required when returning from international travel.
While no passport system has been created in the United States, some other countries have something similar. For example, in China, they have already developed a COVID-19 vaccination certificate required for citizens in the case of cross-border travel.
And, in Israel, there’s the “Green Pass,” which is an app that is connected to a database listing everyone who’s received the vaccine.
On top of Gov. DeSantis forbidding the use of vaccine passports, Friday’s order also reiterates his stance on not mandating the vaccine be taken.
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