DeSantis signs executive order prohibiting vaccine passports

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday issued an executive order banning the use of COVID-19 “vaccine passports,” which allow people to present evidence of their vaccination.

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“Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports,” DeSantis tweeted Friday afternoon. “The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon.”

The order prohibits state 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”.

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It also bans businesses in the state from “requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery” to enter or receive services from the place of business. However, businesses are still allowed to institute COVID-19 screening protocols.

The governor’s order, which comes a week after vowing to issue it, argued that mandating vaccination credentials “would create two classes of citizens based on vaccination.”

This move from DeSantis comes as the emerging concept of vaccine passports has irked many Republicans, with many citing privacy and civil liberties concerns in their opposition to it. Advocates for such passports say that it will speed up the reopening of the U.S. economy since more than 100 million Americans—about 30% of the population—have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to CDC data.

Last Friday, New York State launched its Excelsior Pass, which is available on a mobile app in the form a QR code that can be scanned to show evidence of vaccination.

RELATED: NY debuts COVID-19 Passport to prove vaccination

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.