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Florida Health Department Moves Forward On COVID-19 'Passport' Ban

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) -- The Florida Department of Health on Friday published a proposed rule that would carry out a new law allowing the state to levy $5,000 fines against businesses, government agencies and educational institutions that violate a ban on so-called COVID-19 "vaccine passports."

The proposed rule also would require that the fines be paid within 30 days unless indicated otherwise in a final order.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has made a priority of blocking businesses and other entities from requiring people to show proof of vaccination --- the concept known as vaccine passports.

DeSantis issued an executive order on the issue in April, and the Legislature subsequently passed a bill putting the ban in state law.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ban, as the company says it should be able to require passengers to show proof of vaccination.

The Department of Health published the proposed rule Friday as the numbers of COVID-19 infections in the state spiral upward because of the highly contagious delta variant of the virus.

According to federal data, Florida had 71,948 new COVID-19 cases in the five-day span from Saturday to Wednesday.

(©2021 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida  contributed to this report.)

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