In a move that will surprise absolutely no one, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has created a rule that will slam businesses, governments, and schools with monster fines should they require proof of vaccination from members of the public. The rule is an addendum to a bill, signed into law in May, that bans such institutions from mandating vaccine passports. According to the Department of Health, the new rule outlines how the law will be enforced, with fines of $5,000 being issued “per individual and separate violation.” No word on how many businesses have already been cited under the May law; nor is it clear how the rule will affect the cruise industry.
The rule does not affect a business’ requirement that employees be vaccinated, although DeSantis has railed against such measures as an affront to personal freedom. Nikki Fried, a DeSantis challenger in next year’s gubernatorial race, issued a statement that read in part that the governor “has made it abundantly clear that he’s more interested in getting revenge against Floridians who are trying to do the right thing than he is in stopping the spread of COVID or supporting our local businesses.” The new rule will take effect Sept. 16.