Florida governor DeSantis suspends all remaining Covid restrictions
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks wearing his face mask about the rise in coronavirus cases in the state during a press conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami on July 13, 2020.
Chandan Khanna | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an ordinance on Monday suspending immediately all pending local Covid-19 emergency orders and related public health restrictions.
“The fact is that we are no longer in a state of emergency,” DeSantis said during a press conference. He conceded that Florida was not finished with its fight against the coronavirus, but reiterated the nation’s decline in Covid-19 cases and deaths.
“I think that’s the evidence-based thing,” DeSantis said, adding that asking vaccinated people to continue wearing masks would undermine confidence in the coronavirus vaccines.
Private businesses may still require masks and enforce social distancing and other protective measures.
DeSantis signed a draft law on Monday that will bring the executive order into effect on July 1. The implementing regulation is designed to close the gap by then. The move, which is effectively ending all local restrictions related to pandemics, also bans vaccination certificates.
Florida has reported the third most common Covid-19 cases in the US with more than 2.2 million since the pandemic began and the fourth highest death toll with more than 35,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. However, the average number of new cases there has dropped more than 13% in the past week and dropped to 4,885 according to data on Sunday.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Last week, the Biden government announced a relaxation of federal health guidelines on wearing masks outdoors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that fully vaccinated people can exercise outside and attend small gatherings without a face mask. The agency also recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear a mask in crowded outdoor areas.