On March 19, I wrote about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaking out strongly against vaccine passport mandates, which are being considered in America in the name of countering coronavirus. Here is an update. On Friday, DeSantis signed an executive order to make Florida the first state to prohibit the use of vaccine passports.
The executive order says no “Florida government entity, or its subdivisions, agents, or assigns” can issue vaccine passports. It also says businesses in Florida cannot require “patrons or customers” to provide vaccine-passport-type documentation. The executive order prohibitions are limited to vaccine passports, and the required providing of the type of documentation that would be in such passports, related to Covid-19 — the supposed justification for vaccine passports now being considered in America. The executive order does not appear to cover employers’ actions in relation to people outside the patrons or customers classification, such as employees or suppliers.
The new state executive order can guard against the threatened imposition of a national vaccine passport requirement by creating a clear conflict of laws between the Florida and United States governments.
President Joe Biden’s administration has already imposed, in the name of countering coronavirus, a national mask mandate, applicable in a broad range of transportation-related circumstances. The Biden administration is reported to be planning for imposing a national vaccine passport mandate as well.
It looks like the Florida state legislature may soon be backing up DeSantis in opposing vaccine passports. DeSantis stated the following in a Twitter post announcing the executive order: “The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon.”