JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 100 Florida entities, including businesses, municipalities and event venues, are under review with the Department of Health after being reported for asking patrons to prove they were vaccinated for COVID-19 before providing access to their locations or services.
Violators could be fined $5,000 for every person who was asked to show proof of vaccination after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill earlier this year that banned vaccine passports.
“Our law is very clear, we basically don’t want people to be discriminated against, we want them to be able to live their lives on their status of getting their shots,” DeSantis said during a Tuesday press conference.
The Florida Department of Health sent News4Jax sister station WKMG in Orlando the following statement:
“Under the rule, the Florida Department of Health now has the authority to enforce penalties on applicable entities and institutions that require documentation of vaccination or post-exposure status. If you believe you are aware of a violation, you may submit a complaint and the Department will review, assess and investigate as warranted. Applicable entities that are found to be in violation will be fined.”
The Florida Department of Health has a list of 100 entities under review, including AdventHealth. AdventHealth said they didn’t even know they were under investigation.
The state’s Department of Health didn’t immediately explain why AdventHealth was under review, but the vaccine documentation law states “it does not apply to health care providers.”
The list of violators includes the following businesses and organizations in the Northeast Florida area:
- Seafarers International Union (Based in Jax)
- FDLE, Jacksonville Region, Counterterrorism Squad
- Alachua County Board of County Commissioners
- Alachua County Library District
- Alachua County Public Library
- Lauren Poe, Mayor City of Gainesville
- Daily’s Place
- Northrop Grumman
Daily’s Place, which held multiple concerts over the summer, issued a statement:
“Certain acts visiting Daily’s Place have expressed their preference is to require that all attendees to their event provide confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test within 72-hours prior to entering the venue. As an alternative to obtaining a negative test, they may voluntarily show they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”
Alachua County’s Board of Commissioners Communications Director Mark Sexton told News4Jax “we don’t belong on this list” saying “the Board of Commissioners does not require anyone to provide proof of vaccination.”
Major corporations are also under an investigation, including
- Disney Cruise Line
- Carnival Cruise Line
- Royal Caribbean
The Florida Department of Health said just because organizations are listed doesn’t mean they are in violation.
The agency didn’t say when fines will be collected or if an organization will receive notice.