Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill passed by the state legislature that bans governments and corporations from denying service to customers based on vaccination status.
“I think it’s the evidence-based thing to do,” DeSantis said at Monday’s press conference. “I think folks that are saying that they need to be policing people at this point, if you’re saying that you really are saying you don’t believe in the vaccines, you don’t believe in the data you don’t believe in the science.”
“The legislation creates a default legal presumption that during any emergency our businesses should be free from government mandates to close, and our schools should remain open for in-person instruction for our children,” DeSantis added.
The governor also criticized mask mandates, asking, “If we have widespread vaccinations that are over 99% effective, what’s the evidence basis for somebody to wear a mask now?”
The bill will take effect July 1.
National File previously reported on the contents of the bill, which was passed by the state legislature in late April:
The bill explicitly forbids businesses from requiring COVID-19 passports with the language, “A business entity as defined in s. 768.38 to include any business operating in this state, may not require patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business operations in this state.” Should a business choose to ignore the Florida government’s legislation, they can be fined up to $5,000 per violation.
Similarly, the bill forbids governmental entities and educational institutions from doing the same. “A governmental entity … may not require persons to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection recover to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the governmental entity’s operations in this state,” the bill declares. “An educational institution … may not require students or residents to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection recovery for the attendance or enrollment, or to gain access to, entry upon, or service from such educational institution in this state.” The bill must now be signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who previously signed an executive order that similarly banned COVID-19 passports.