‘We are no longer in a state of emergency’: Florida Gov Ron deSantis lifts ALL remaining COVID rules and bans vaccine passports – but businesses can still enforce masks and social distancing
- Ron DeSantis announced on Monday that he was signing an executive order to override any county or city rules on COVID to go in effect July 1
- He signed another order which means they also can’t apply them from now until then
- The rules apply to public spaces; it’s unclear if they apply to public transport
- His order also prohibits the enforcing of vaccine passports
- DeSantis has always been among the most lenient governors when it comes to COVID rules
- Florida has been notorious for not enforcing social distancing or masks
Florida‘s Governor Ron deSantis on Monday lifted all of the state’s remaining COVID rules, including wearing masks, sayig the state is ‘no longer in a state of emergency’.
DeSantis was at a waterfront restaurant in St. Petersburg when he signed SB-2006 – a bill that allows him to override all local rules and bans vaccine passports from July 1 onwards.
He said that the vaccine rollout in Florida – where more than 6million doses have been administered to a population of 21.48 million – had been so successful that anyone who hasn’t yet had one is choosing not to.
‘At this point, the people that haven’t been vaccinated is certainly not because a lack of supply or a lack of availability,’ he said.
His order means that in public places, there are no more COVID rules at all including social distancing and masks.
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DeSantis was at a waterfront restaurant in St. Petersburg when he signed SB-2006 – a bill that allows him to override all local rules and bans vaccine passports from July 1 onwards
DeSantis signed the bill – SB 2006 – at The Big Catch, a restaurant in St Petersburg
Florida’s vaccine rollout: Some 8.5million have been vaccinated but it’s unclear if they have received one or two doses
It’s unclear what the rules will be on public transport, on planes going in and out of Florida or in airports.
Private businesses can however choose to enforce their own rules, which has largely been the case in Florida throughout.
There has never been a statewide mask mandate in Florida, nor have there been state-imposed social distancing rules.
Instead, Democratic stronghold cities and counties have taken to imposing their own rules.
Many say they have saved the state’s COVID problem and that had it been down to deSantis all along, more would have died.
DeSantis said his executive order would allow people to finally get back to normal.
‘We don´t know what´s going to happen in the future, but I think this creates a structure that´s going to be a little bit more respectful, I think, of people´s businesses jobs, schools and personal freedom.’
DeSantis also said that because so many people had now been vaccinated, telling anyone who has that they still need to wear a mask undermines confidence in the vaccines themselves.
People party along Ocean Drive in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami, Florida, U.S., on Saturday, March 27, 2021. Curfews and causeway closures to control unruly spring break crowds in South Beach will be extended through April 12, reports the Miami Herald
‘Folks that are saying that they need to be policing people at this point are saying you don´t believe in the vaccines, you don´t believe in the data, you don´t believe in the science,’ he said.
Among those who criticized his decision was Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
‘It feels like he´s spiking the ball on the 10-yard line. He´s been following political ideology more than science during this whole pandemic,’ he said.
‘To be clear, cities like St. Pete, Tampa, Orlando, Miami and Miami Beach, saved Florida and the governor´s behind throughout this pandemic.
‘Can you imagine if each city had been led by Ron DeSantis?
‘How many lives would have been lost? What would our economy look like today?’ St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said in another tweet.