Florida businesses, schools, agencies to be fined for asking for vaccine proof

Florida businesses, schools, agencies to be fined for asking for vaccine proof
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Businesses, school and governmental agencies in Florida will be fined $5,000 for asking for proof of vaccination against the coronavirus starting later this month.

In a final rule, the Florida Department of Health says it will notify businesses, governmental agencies or educational entities for mandating vaccines.

Each violation will “result in the imposition of a $5,000 fine per individual and separate violation against the business, governmental entity or the educational institution,” the rule states.

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Entities will be allowed to appeal the fine, but the penalties will be due within 30 days of being finalized. The rule will go into effect on Sept. 16.

The rule comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisPresident Biden's vaccination plan is Constitutional – and necessary Faith leaders call on Congress to lead the response to a global pandemic Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE (R) signed Senate Bill 2006 into law in May, which prohibited businesses and schools from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The bill allowed the Health Department to impose fines not to exceed $5,000 per violation.

But the measure has already faced a legal defeat. In early August, a Florida federal judge allowed Norwegian Cruise Line to ask customers to show proof of vaccination before boarding a ship, finding that the law was likely unconstitutional.

The Miami Herald noted that the Bahamian government is only allowing ships with fully vaccinated passengers into its ports, which would likely complicate the ban.

DeSantis has been against instituting new coronavirus restrictions, even as Florida becomes the epicenter of the latest coronavirus surge.

His signing of SB 2006 came roughly a month after he signed an executive order banning businesses and governmental entities from requiring proof of vaccination.

Sixty-four percent of the Sunshine State has received one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Just over 53 percent of the state is fully inoculated.