Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking action to suspend all localsemergency mandates immediately and issues a decree banning all local COVID-19 emergency mandates in the state with effect from 1 July.
DeSantis cited the abundant availability of vaccines in Sunshine State and said supply has now exceeded demand. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, 20.9 million doses have been distributed to the state, and 15.5 million shots have been administered in a state with a population of approx. 21.5 million people. DeSantis made the announcement when he signed a bill banning entities, including private companies, from requiring so-called “vaccine passports”
“What I have to do is sign the bill, it will take effect on July 1,” DeSantis said at the bill signing on Monday in Skt. Petersburg. “I will also sign an executive order under the bill that cancels all remaining local COVID orders that take effect on July 1. But to bridge the gap between then and now, I will, under my executive power, suspend the local emergency orders as it pertains to COVID. I think that’s the evidence – based thing to do. “
DeSantis said his administration wants people to “enjoy themselves” and “live freely in the state of Florida.”
DeSantis had already unilaterally banned even private companies from requiring proof of vaccination to enter. The Vaccine Passport Prohibition Act, effective July 1, imposes a $ 5,000 fine whenever a business or school requires proof of entry vaccination.
DeSantis, a 2024 Republican and potential presidential candidate, has been among the governors to drop COVID-19 security protocols the fastest.
But other, more liberal jurisdictions are moving toward nixing COVID-19 restrictions as well. New York City expects to return to full capacity by July 1st. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has said she believes July 1 is a reasonable target for essentially returning to normal if vaccinations continue to rise at the rate they have been and if cases continue to fall at the same pace.
More than 100 million Americans are now fully vaccinated, the White House announced last week.
Jack Renaud contributed with reporting.