On May 3, Florida Governor DeSantis signed into law SB 2006, which went into effect July 1. This law extends the Governor’s Executive Order prohibiting businesses from requiring consumers or customers to show documentation of vaccination (a “vaccines passport”) to obtain a service from or access to a business.
When we refer to a vaccine passport, we mean standardized credentials showing proof of vaccination. After the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries began requiring such proof of vaccine to travel or enter certain establishments. Ensuring vaccination is considered a way for businesses to get back to normal, especially in industries such as entertainment and travel where large crowds gather together in close proximity. Vaccination is also a way to protect employees, consumers and provide a safe experience.
Despite the potential upsides of vaccine requirements, Florida’s decision to ban vaccine passports was based on two primary principles: personal freedom and privacy. Regarding personal freedom, the Governor has voiced support for the freedom for families to decide whether vaccination is right for them, and to create space for religious objection. Regarding privacy, because the vaccine is a health record, the Governor seeks to protect patient privacy from unnecessary disclosure and from the danger of hacks and other breaches.
It’s important to mention that the passport ban does not prohibit the implementation of screening protocol and does not prohibit businesses from requesting either a vaccine passport or a recent negative COVID-19 test. Furthermore, the ban does not prohibit businesses from requiring employees from showing proof of vaccination, however, any employer seeking to implement such a requirement should tread with caution and consult federal guidelines such as those from the EEOC and ADA.
To learn more about this topic or find out your legal rights, contact Sheehe & Associates at 305-379-3515.