The legality of Florida’s ban on “vaccine passports” is still being challenged as more than 100 businesses, venues and local governments are being investigated by the state as potential violators.

What You Need To Know

  • State’s “vaccine passport” ban prohibits businesses from requiring patrons to show proof of vaccination

  • The Florida Department of Health is currently investigating more than 100 businesses, venues and local governments as potential violators of ban

  • One constitutional law expert says businesses with policies requiring proof of vaccination as an alternative to negative COVID-19 test are still following the statute

The state statute prohibits businesses from requiring patrons or customers to show proof of vaccination. 

A number of venues under investigation, including the Dr. Phillips Center and the Orlando Lowndes Shakespeare Center, have policies requiring guests to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, or proof of vaccination as an alternative. 

Barry University constitutional law expert Terri Day said the state could still have an issue with this either/or approach when it comes to proof of vaccinations, but believes those businesses are still in the right.

“If the business has either/or, then I don’t think the business would be in violation of the statute if they’re relying on the negative COVID test, because the statute actually says that’s OK,” he said.

Day said the statute doesn’t prevent other Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and protocols from being instituted to protect public health. 

“The health and safety policy at the Dr. Phillips Center complies with local and state laws to the best of our knowledge,” a spokesperson said in an email to Spectrum News 13. “We put these policies in place to help create the safest environment for our guests, artists, students and colleagues, as we work to get back to normal operations with the return of touring shows and other major events.”

The state’s proof of vaccination ban is already being challenged in the courts at the federal level. In the meantime, violators could face fines of $5,000 per person impacted.