Florida will issue $5K fines each time school or business asks for proof of COVID vaccine

DeSantis mask mandate fines aimed at ‘bureaucratic systems’: Fla. Lt. Gov. Nunez

Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez says Gov. Ron DeSantis’ warning to fine schools that require masks is to prevent institutions from ‘playing politics.’

Florida is set to start fining businesses, government entities and schools up to $5,000 for asking customers or visitors to show proof they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

"Promises made, promises kept," a spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis, Taryn Fenske, said of the rule explaining the fines, according to Fox 13

The Florida Department of Health published a rule last week titled, "Penalties for COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation Requirements," that will take effect on Sept. 16 and will result in fines of up to $5,000 being issued "per individual and separate violation." Fines will need to be paid within 30 days. 

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The fines come after DeSantis signed a bill in May banning vaccine passports, which he said would spur "huge" privacy concerns. 

"It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society," the governor said before signing his executive order. "If you want to go to the movie theater, should you have to show that? No. If you want to go to a game, no. If you want to go to a theme park, no. … I think it’s something that people have certain freedoms and individual liberties to make decisions for themselves."

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Cruise lines and businesses that mandate vaccines for their employees will be exempt from the fines. 

Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, slammed the fines as DeSantis "retaliating against Floridians who are trying to protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19."

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"This not only goes against common sense — it’s also an insult to the free market principles that he claims to champion," Fried, who is running to unseat DeSantis in 2022, said in the statement.

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