As the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, we’ve seen a number of changes and specific policies announced.
We’ve especially seen quite a lot of discussion on the topic of vaccine passports. The Florida governor has made statements about vaccine passports and passed an executive order on the topic as well. But now another part of the Florida government has taken action regarding vaccine passports.
According to Fox 35 Orlando, today the Florida House of Representatives approved a measure that would make Governor DeSantis’ executive order barring COVID-19 vaccine passports in the state permanent.
The Florida Senate passed the bill last week. But, it will need to return to the Senate once more as there were changes made to the bill made by the Florida House of Representatives.
What does this bill do exactly? Fox 35 Orlando shares that it would “prohibit businesses, schools and government entities from requiring customers to show documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccinations or post-infection recovery.”
This is largely what was already included in the Governor’s executive order — which banned Florida government entities from issuing vaccine passports and prohibited businesses in Florida from requiring customers to provide any documentation proving that they have been vaccinated in order to be served.
Governor DeSantis’ executive order notes, however, that it is only effective so long as Executive Order 20-52 (Florida’s State of Emergency order) is in effect.
What are COVID-19 passports? They’re essentially a way for individuals to prove that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, or potentially that they have had a recent COVID-19 negative test result. It has been discussed that some private businesses, airlines, large-scale events, or other places may desire to or in fact require proof of vaccination before serving guests.
Aside from barring vaccine passports, the bill passed by the House also places certain limits on local emergency orders, gives the governor the power to override local orders in some instances, and requires state agencies to develop a public health emergency plan by a certain date, among other things.
Again, the bill will need to go back to the Senate for further approval. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more updates and let you know what we find.