Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning COVID-19 vaccine passports and also announced an executive order that suspends all local pandemic emergency mandates effective July 1st.
“I’m going to sign the bill. It’s effective July 1. I’ll also sign an executive order pursuant to that bill invalidating all remaining local emergency COVID orders effective on July 1,” the Republican governor said in a news conference in St. Petersburg on Monday. “But then, to bridge the gap between then and now, I’m going to suspend, under my executive power, the local emergency orders as it relates to COVID.”
Describing his executive orders as the “evidence-based thing to do,” DeSantis said that proponents of lockdowns “really are saying you don’t believe in the vaccines, you don’t believe in the data, you don’t believe in the science.” He added: “We’ve embraced the vaccines. We’ve embraced the science on it.”
The order suspending local emergency mandates only affects governments, not businesses.
“In terms of what a supermarket or some of them choose to do, a Disney theme park, this does not deal with that one way or another,” DeSantis said. “It’s simply emergency orders and emergency penalties on individual businesses.”
DeSantis has been a vocal opponent of so-called vaccine passports, saying they would create two classes of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
“You have a right to participate in society, go to a restaurant, movie, a ballgame, all these things without having to divulge this type of information,” DeSantis said on Monday.
Last week, DeSantis issued an extension for Florida’s state of emergency order for another 60 days.