ORLANDO, Fla. — We now know just how much the state of Florida will fine businesses that try to get proof of vaccination from a customer. 

What You Need To Know

  • Florida passed a law banning so-called vaccination passports

  • New rule taking effect Sept. 16 fines businesses $5,000 for violations

  • No word whether this will affect the cruise industry

A new rule filed by the Florida Department of Health says it will fine $5,000 for each violation, per individual, as well as a separate violation against any business, governmental entity or educational institution that tries to require vaccine verification before serving the customer. 

The business, government entity or educational institution will get a notice of violation and the right to have a hearing before the agency takes final action.

The fine does not affect businesses that mandate vaccines among employees.

The rule takes effect Sept. 16.

FDOH made the rule under the new law passed in the Florida Legislature earlier this year that banned so-called "vaccine passports," a ban Gov. Ron DeSantis sought.

It's unclear how many companies are in violation of this rule yet.

Cruise ships sought an exemption from this rule, which Gov. DeSantis refused. Norwegian Cruise Lines sued the state and won an injunction to block the vaccine passport ban, which the state is currently appealling.

Since then Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines have also begun requiring passengers show proof of vaccination before going on any cruise that includes a port of call in The Bahamas, where the government is mandating cruise passengers over the age of 12 be vaccinated. This includes any stops at the cruise lines' private islands, which are all based in The Bahamas.

The U.S. Virgin Islands as a similar proof of vaccination order cruise lines have to follow.

No word on whether the state will follow through in fining the cruise companies.


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