Tuesday, 4 May 2021

'We are no longer in a state of emergency': Florida Gov Ron deSantis lifts ALL remaining COVID rules and bans vaccine passports - but businesses can still enforce masks and social distancing

 Florida's Governor Ron deSantis on Monday lifted all of the state's remaining COVID rules, including wearing masks, sayig the state is 'no longer in a state of emergency'. 

DeSantis was at a waterfront restaurant in St. Petersburg when he signed SB-2006 -  a bill that allows him to override all local rules and bans vaccine passports from July 1 onwards.

The rollback of restrictions comes as virus deaths in Florida have fallen sharply. 


It joins only three other states that have rolled back all restrictions 100 percent, according to an analysis by Multistate, a government relations firm that is tracking state data.


Only Alabama, Arizona and Georgia have also rolled back their restrictions 100 percent, according to the analysis. 

Alaska, North Dakota, Texas and West Virginia have all rolled back their restrictions by 96 percent, according to the Multistate tally, rounding out the list of the most open states.

In Florida, DeSantis said that the vaccine rollout in Florida - where more than 6million doses have been administered to a population of 21.48 million - had been so successful that anyone who hasn't yet had one is choosing not to. 

'At this point, the people that haven't been vaccinated is certainly not because a lack of supply or a lack of availability,' he said. 


DeSantis was at a waterfront restaurant in St. Petersburg when he signed SB-2006 - a bill that allows him to override all local rules and bans vaccine passports from July 1 onwards

DeSantis was at a waterfront restaurant in St. Petersburg when he signed SB-2006 - a bill that allows him to override all local rules and bans vaccine passports from July 1 onwards

DeSantis signed the bill - SB 2006 - at The Big Catch, a restaurant in St Petersburg

DeSantis signed the bill - SB 2006 - at The Big Catch, a restaurant in St Petersburg 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis lifts all remaining Covid rules
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:00
Previous
Play
Skip
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time1:47
Fullscreen
Need Text

His order means that in public places, there are no more COVID rules at all including social distancing and masks.

It's unclear what the rules will be on public transport, on planes going in and out of Florida or in airports.


It's likely that airports will be masked-up zones because of airline regulations, though people will likely be able to strip off their masks as soon as they leave the premises. 

Private businesses can however choose to enforce their own rules, which has largely been the case in Florida throughout. 


There has never been a statewide mask mandate in Florida, nor have there been state-imposed social distancing rules. 

Instead, Democratic stronghold cities and counties have taken to imposing their own rules. 


Many say they have saved the state from a COVID problem and that had it been down to deSantis all along, more would have died. 

DeSantis said his executive order would allow people to finally get back to normal. 

'We don´t know what´s going to happen in the future, but I think this creates a structure that´s going to be a little bit more respectful, I think, of people´s businesses jobs, schools and personal freedom.'

DeSantis also said that because so many people had now been vaccinated, telling anyone who has that they still need to wear a mask undermines confidence in the vaccines themselves. 

'Folks that are saying that they need to be policing people at this point are saying you don´t believe in the vaccines, you don´t believe in the data, you don´t believe in the science,' he said. 

Among those who criticized his decision was Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. 

'It feels like he´s spiking the ball on the 10-yard line. He´s been following political ideology more than science during this whole pandemic,' he said. 

'To be clear, cities like St. Pete, Tampa, Orlando, Miami and Miami Beach, saved Florida and the governor´s behind throughout this pandemic. 

'Can you imagine if each city had been led by Ron DeSantis? 

'How many lives would have been lost? What would our economy look like today?' St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said in another tweet.  

Florida's vaccine rollout: Some 8.5million have been vaccinated but it's unclear if they have received one or two doses

Florida's vaccine rollout: Some 8.5million have been vaccinated but it's unclear if they have received one or two doses

Post a comment

Start typing and press Enter to search