17:00 GMT11 April 2021
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    With guidance from the US President Joe Biden administration, private US companies are working to develop “vaccine passports,” or a way for individuals to prove that they have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday issued an executive order banning the use of “vaccine passports,” which can be used as proof by people to demonstrate they have been inoculated against COVID-19.

    “Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports,” DeSantis said in a statement on Twitter. “The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon.”

    ​Under the order, government entities would be barred from issuing “vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccine status to a third party.”

    In addition, the order would prevent businesses in Florida from having to provide documentation to certify their COVID-19 inoculation to receive services.

    In the order, DeSantis also notes that COVID-19 vaccinations are not required by law and that vaccination records are private health information. In addition, DeSantis notes that the requirement to show a passport to go about daily life would “reduce individual freedom” and essentially create “two classes of citizens,” Local10 reported.

    Several other Republican lawmakers have expressed concern over vaccine passports. US Representative Lauren Boebert called vaccine passports “unconstitutional” on Twitter, while US Representative Pete Sessions said in a statement to Fox News that a vaccine passport measure would be a “complete government overstep.”

    ​“Vaccine credentials would be a complete government overstep. Individuals in America have a personal responsibility for their health," Sessions told the outlet. "Implementing a 'vaccine passport' runs the risk of undermining public trust and substantially limiting normal day-to-day essential activities."

    During a press conference Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the Biden administration would not issue a federal mandate requiring Americans to obtain credentials to show they’ve been vaccinated against the virus, but that it plans to release guidelines to help private companies develop the so-called vaccine passports.


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