DORAL, FL – Businesses, governments, or educations institutions that demand proof of vaccination or vaccination passports to their customers or the general public will be fined with $5,000, informed the Florida Department of Health.
The measure, that comes from a bill passed and signed into law earlier this year, will be enforced from September 16 and the offenders will be able to appeal but once the fine is finalized, they will have 30 days to pay.
With this, Florida will join 18 other states led by Republican governors that ban entities from demanding proof of vaccination, some of which also ban businesses from denying service to the unvaccinated population.
But some companies disagree with the measure and have fight for being allowed to require proof of vaccination, such as Norwegian Cruise Line that last month was backed up by a federal judge in its claim of demanding passengers to be vaccinated before boarding a ship.
Those businesses claim they only want to make their customers feel safe, while detractors say demanding proof of vaccination goes against people’s rights and privacy.
“This not only goes against common sense — it’s also an insult to the free market principles he (Gov. DeSantis) claims to champion,” Agriculture Commissioner and Democratic candidate for governor Nikki Fried said in a statement. “(DeSantis) has made it abundantly clear that he’s more interested in getting revenge against Floridians who are trying to do the right thing than he is in stopping the spread of COVID or supporting our local businesses.”
So far, sixty-eight percent of Florida residents 12 years or older have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine while the state continues to be one of the hardest-hit by the Delta variant with more than 15,000 patients currently hospitalized in Florida, up from about 1,800 in June.