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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Florida's vaccine passport ban takes effect today

Posted By on Thu, Sep 16, 2021 at 12:35 PM

  • Photo via Office of the Governor

The long-touted vaccine passport ban in Florida takes effect today. That could mean millions of dollars in fines for Orange County.

The law passed by the Florida Legislature doles out $5,000 fines for every violation of a rule that forbids private businesses and government entities from requiring proof of vaccination. The Florida Department of Health will be responsible for doling out the fines, after which the party believed to be in violation can state their case at an administrative hearing.

If the offender is found liable, they will have 30 days to pay the fine. DeSantis gleefully imagined a system in which Democrat-leaning Florida enclaves owe the state millions in fines.

“You will face a $5,000 fine for every single violation and so if you look at places here in Alachua County, like the city of Gainesville, I mean that’s millions and millions of dollars potentially in fines, Orange County (will see) many, many more than that,” DeSantis said during a meeting on Monday.

The Orange County government is requiring all of its employees get vaccinated. Because asking for proof of vaccine is part of any vaccine requirement for employees, the county could be facing a massive pile of fines. The county employs more than 7,000 people and could face a maximum fine of more than $30 million.

Protocols around reporting businesses and employees have not yet been made clear. The Florida Department of Health will likely clarify the process in the coming days.

Norwegian Cruise Lines recently won their case against the state, allowing them to ask for vaccines from passengers. Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean followed suit, setting up a showdown between the state and the cruise industry.

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