Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday banned the use of “vaccine passports” in the southeastern state of the United States, citing “individual liberty.”
The Republican governor’s decree prohibits government offices from issuing any “standard documentation” certifying that an individual has been immune to Covid-19.
It also prohibits private companies in Florida from requiring their clients to have any type of document certifying their vaccination or immunity after recovery from the coronavirus.
The order of DeSantis, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump who is seen as a potential future presidential candidate, argues that “the so-called Covid-19 vaccine passports reduce individual freedom and will undermine the privacy of patients ”.
Earlier this week, De Santis said such demands imposed by the government on the private sector would be “unacceptable”.
” Do you want to go to the cinema. Should you show this? No. Do you want to go to a game? No. Do you want to go to a theme park? No. We’re not in favor of that, ”he said at a press conference Monday.
The order came after The Washington Post reported that President Joe Biden’s administration was developing its own guidelines for such passports as it sought to lift pandemic restrictions in the United States.
Such a document is also the subject of international discussions as part of an attempt to revive travel and tourism.
China launched a passport system in March, allowing citizens to download the new certificates and use them to enter and exit the country. It is not mandatory and is only available to Chinese citizens.
The European Union is also expected to come up with rules for a digital ‘green pass’ for vaccines allowing people to move safely within the bloc or abroad.
In Florida, a state of 21 million people economically dependent on tourism, nearly six million have now received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Starting Monday, vaccinations will be available for the entire adult population in the state.
© 2021 AFP