Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed to back legislation that permanently prohibits COVID-19-related mandates, including those requiring vaccine passports and mask-wearing in the state’s schools. DeSantis unveiled his proposals during a press event in Panama City Beach on Jan. 17.
Specifically, the proposal would permanently prohibit the use or requirement of COVID-19 passports throughout the state and ban masking and vaccination requirements in all Florida Schools.
It would also forbid masking requirements at businesses and prohibit employers from hiring or firing employees based on their vaccination status.
The proposal would also ensure that medical professionals do not lose their jobs or licenses for offering professional opinions in Florida. In addition, it protects medical professionals from discrimination based on their personal religious views.
“When the world lost its mind, Florida was a refuge of sanity, serving strongly as freedom’s linchpin,” DeSantis said. “These measures will ensure Florida remains this way and will provide landmark protections for free speech for medical practitioners.”
The proposals are the latest of DeSantis-backed legislation to permanently protect “Floridians from the ‘Biomedical Security State.’”
Last year he signed legislation that, among other things, prohibited private-sector employers from requiring their employees to have COVID-19 vaccinations and prohibited school districts from instituting and enforcing mask mandates or requiring the quarantine of healthy students.
The next regular session of the Florida Legislature gets underway in March.