(USA Features) Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis declared Monday he would sign newly passed legislation prohibiting state and local government venues from requiring customers and participants from presenting a so-called “COVID passport” to enter.
Such passports are being developed by various tech companies as a means of allowing a carrier to prove he or she has been vaccinated for the virus.
But opponents say the vaccine passports are an unnecessary and unconstitutional infringement on personal liberties and privacy.
“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,” DeSantis said at a press 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.”
“I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do,” he noted further. “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.
“We’ve embraced the vaccines. We’ve embraced the science on it,” DeSantis — who is being considered as a 2024 presidential frontrunner — said.
He went on to say that the suspension will only affect government-mandated orders, not restrictions imposed by 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,” he said. “It’s simply emergency orders and emergency penalties on individual businesses.”
As for the passports “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.