JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis has signed the bill that would ban vaccine passports as well as limit local emergency powers.
If counties or businesses violate the state’s vaccine passport ban, they would be punishable by fines up to $5,000 per violation.
The bill would also makes changes to the state’s Emergency Management Act. This bill will limit local emergency powers to seven day increments and may only be extended to a maximum duration of 42 days. The Governor would also now get the power to override local orders if they are determined to “unnecessarily restrict individual rights or liberties.”
“The bill ensures that neither the state and or local governments can close business or keep kids out of in-person instruction unless they satisfy demanding and continuous justifications,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis also announced at the signing of the bill that he would suspend all local state of emergencies related to COVID-19. That executive order would go into effect immediately.
“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,” DeSantis said. “We’ve embraced the vaccines. We’ve embraced the science on it.”
St. Johns County, Nassau County, Baker County, and Clay County are currently under a state of emergency. Nassau County Commissioners were planning to meet Monday afternoon to discuss an extension of the executive order.
The bill will go into effect on July 1. At that time, DeSantis says that all local state of emergencies related to COVID-19 will be terminated.