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Governor DeSantis calls vaccine passports a 'terrible idea'

Posted at 5:06 PM, Mar 20, 2021

SOUTHWEST, Fla. — A “vaccine passport” is documentation that shows either your COVID-19 vaccination or negative status.

Currently, organizations are developing apps for mobile devices that would make that "passport" easily accessible while on the go or travelng.

More than 17 airlines are now testinghow the technology works, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Israel’s using what’s called a “green pass” that shows someone's COVID-19 status.

Users can then scan their information to gain access to large gatherings like concerts.

But, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ clear on his thoughts about this type of system.

“The vaccine passport is a terrible idea. We are definitely not going to offer anything from the state perspective. That is totally off the table,” DeSantis said.

During a public health round table on Thursday, DeSantis cited personal choice.

“If you want to go to a movie theater or a concert or all this stuff, go. If you don’t, don’t.”

The governor continued to say that people should not be mandated to show documentation of their COVID-19 status.

“But to require somebody to show some type of proof of vaccination I think is completely unacceptable and it’s not something that we’re going to support in any way here in Florida.”

Jase Ramsey is an associate professor of international business at Florida Gulf Coast University.

He says he understands the governor’s perspective.

“Us as Americans we like our choices. He’s giving the constituency the freedom of choice.”

But, Ramsey says there’s more to consider within the global travel industry.

“At the end of the day, the pros outweigh the cons.”

Two of those “pros”, Ramsey says, are international travel and tourism here in Florida.

Ramsey says there’s a need for a universal system, like the vaccine passport, that helps travelers to feel safe and supports our economy.

“Therefore, people can feel free to book their flights. And until that happens, people aren’t going to come to Florida on international trips, and that costs us money,” Ramsey explains.

While DeSantis is clear on his stance, how the United States and the rest of the world moves forward is yet to be seen.

The World Health Organization has advised that governments “do not introduce requirements of proof of vaccination or immunity for international travel as a condition of entry”.

Currently, the only coronavirus-related requirement to gain entry into the United States is a negative COVID-19 test.