Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Monday morning at a restaurant in St. Petersburg, at which time he announced that he is using his executive powers to terminate all local COVID-19 orders, effective immediately.
The governor also signed a bill limiting local governments’ ability to shut down businesses and schools during an emergency and said the bill was “evidence-based.”
“I think folks that are saying they need to be policing people at this point — if you’re saying that, you really are saying you don’t believe in the vaccines,” DeSantis said. “You don’t believe in the data, you don’t believe in the science. We’ve embraced the vaccines. We’ve embraced the science on it.”
During the news conference at The Big Catch at Salt Creek, the governor criticized other states’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as strict regulations imposed in certain cities in the Sunshine State.
He used Washington, D.C.’s ban on dancing at weddings as one example of an area where he believes leaders have taken restrictions too far.
DeSantis said COVID-19-related fines will be remitted for individuals and businesses, and said the new law will not only affect local governments but will also allow the Florida Legislature to overturn a governor’s executive order if it is deemed to infringe on an individual’s rights and liberties.
The law will go into effect on July 1.