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Governor Ron DeSantis To Act On COVID-19 'Passport' Ban

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) - Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday formally received a bill from the Legislature that would make permanent a ban on COVID-19 vaccine "passports" and grant him power to override local orders during health crises.

The measure (SB 2006), approved by the Legislature on Thursday, would also require local emergency orders to be narrowly tailored and to be extended in seven-day increments for a maximum duration of 42 days.

Currently, such orders can be issued initially for seven days and extended indefinitely in seven-day increments. The bill would give the governor power to override local orders if they are determined to "unnecessarily restrict individual rights or liberties."

It would also prohibit businesses, schools and government agencies from requiring people to show documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccinations or post-infection recovery before gaining entry --- the concept that has become known as COVID-19 passports.

Democrats argued the measure would tie the hands of the cruise industry and others that have struggled to bring tourists back to Florida. Asked about the bill Friday, DeSantis said, "I think some of these local governments have overplayed their hands" during the pandemic. DeSantis on April 2 issued an executive order blocking COVID-19 passports, which he said would create "huge" privacy issues that could result in people handing over medical information to a "big corporation." The bill would make that permanent. DeSantis has until May 15 to act on the bill.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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

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