Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis Suspends Local COVID-19 Emergency Orders

May 3, 2021

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is suspending all local COVID-19 emergency orders.

Gov. DeSantis on Monday signed a bill giving himself power to override local orders during a health crisis.

The new law will not go into effect until July 1st. Pursuant to that bill, DeSantis said he would sign an executive order invalidating all remaining local COVID-19 emergency orders.

To “bridge the gap between then and now,” DeSantis said he would use his executive power to suspend local COVID-19 emergency orders.

“Not only does this bill provide protections for individuals, for school children, for businesses vis-à-vis emergency orders, it also provides protections for all Floridians, in terms of their personal health information, and prohibits, statutorily, vaccine passports,” DeSantis said Monday before signing SB 2006 into law.

DeSantis signed an executive order blocking so-called “COVID-19 passports” last month, saying they would create privacy issues. The bill signed Monday morning would make that ban permanent.

The new law comes as health officials, including White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, warn against opening Florida without coronavirus precautions as variants spread and many remain unvaccinated.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.