“Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports,” DeSantis announced on Twitter. “The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon.”
The order prevents government entities from issuing “vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccine status to a third party.”
It also prohibits businesses in the state from requiring customers or patrons to provide documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or “post-transmission recovery” to receive services. Businesses can still institute COVID-19 screening protocols.
The order comes after DeSantis said on Monday that he would take action against vaccine passports via “an executive function, emergency function,” and called on the state legislature to draft legislation forbidding these passports.
“It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply participate in normal society,” he said.
The order comes as the issue of vaccine passports takes center stage as the U.S. ramps up COVID-19 vaccinations. Thus far, over 157 million vaccine doses have been administered and 17.5 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
New York launched the Excelsior Pass last Friday, which is available on a phone app in the form a QR code that can be scanned to provide proof of vaccination.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a news conference on Monday that the government expects the development and determination of vaccine passports to driven by the private sector, though it intends to provide guidance on it.