TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This week, after alerting the City of Gainesville of their possible violation of the vaccination passport ban in Florida, the Florida Department of Health received a response indicating the City of Gainesville rescinded its employee vaccine mandate. This reversal also follows an Eighth Judicial Circuit Court temporary injunction preventing vaccine mandates for city employees.
“In May, I signed SB 2006 to empower Floridians – not elected politicians – to take charge of their personal health decisions,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We are not going to allow our first responders and government employees, many of whom have been on the front lines for over a year and a half, to be cast aside by local politicians’ mandates. This reversal by the City of Gainesville is a victory for liberty.”
“Floridians have the right to make their own decisions regarding the health of themselves and their families,” said Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo. “As a new resident to Florida, I am glad to see that the City of Gainesville has changed course on employee vaccine mandates. Without COVID-19 mandates, the State of Florida has been highly successful in vaccinating over 70% of the population.”
Two weeks ago, Governor DeSantis held an event to reinforce Florida’s commitment to pushing back against government vaccine mandates. The event highlighted stories from impacted City of Gainesville employees, with the Governor saying: “What we are seeing out of Washington D.C. and local governments like the City of Gainesville and Orange County should alarm Floridians, and raises important questions – if you can have people like firefighters who put lives on the line every day forced to either lose their jobs or get the vaccine regardless of immunity, how does that protect our community or keep us safer? It doesn’t. This is political, it’s about using government power to control. We’re going to protect these jobs; we’re going to protect livelihoods and we’re going to protect families.”
This past May, Governor DeSantis signed landmark legislation to ban vaccine passports in Florida. Senate Bill 2006 which, among other provisions, specifically bans governmental entities in Florida from requiring proof of vaccination or post-infection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from their operations, including employees. Additionally, the law imposes a $5,000 fine per violation for any entity, including government entities, that asks to see proof of vaccination in Florida.