Singer, songwriter and actor, Harry Edward Style's tour, had a circle in Florida on Thursday, October 7, 2021, he performed at the Orlando arena.
Harry Styles tour's policy requires attendees to either be vaccinated or have a negative PCR test before attending the concert.
According to a spokesperson for Amway Centre, Styles' concert did indeed uphold this policy at its Florida circuit show.
Governor Ron DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw says the law in Florida states that "mandatory vaccine passports are prohibited".
When asked if establishments that allowed a testing option in addition to a vaccine requirement were breaking or complying with the law, she gave a contradictory comment was given.
In her words, she said:
"Other Covid-19 protocols are not necessarily prohibited. And an investigation is not a finding of a violation".
This further means that businesses can mandate vaccines or have the weekly PCR test rule in place, and they would not be breaking any laws.
If the investigation by the state health department does indeed find that Styles' tour prioritised the vaccine over negative PCR tests, then they could be fined $5,000.
Where does the $5,000 fine come from? And what does it entails?
The Department of Health in Florida warned against requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccine from residents, employees or guests from September 15, 2021.
A bill was passed by the Republican-Led legislature at the beginning of the year that banned establishments from requiring proof of vaccine.
This bill was signed into law early May by Governor Ron DeSantis, and with that, the state's Department of Health was given leeways to issue fines.
- MUST-READ | Florida Businesses Can be Charged $5,000 If They Require Vaccine Passport From Customers, Employees From September 16
On August 27, the Department at hand then filed a rule explaining how they would enforce the measure.
The $5,000 fine will either be per individual or separate violation, with violators being issued a notice to appeal the fine.
However, as soon as a fine is finalised, charged parties will have 30 days to pay, and it is not clear what would happen should any entity not pay the fine.
Is Harry Styles the only one who could potentially be issued with a fine?
At least 120 more businesses, including events in Florida and upcoming ones, could be hit with major fines for mandating vaccines.
Here are all the establishments that have been slapped with a fine according to Forbes:
- There is Starbucks, AdventHealth and Allegiant Airlines - the one at St Petersburg, the Clearwater airport only.
- Miami Marlins and major companies like Live Nation, AT&T and even Equinox are among those in line of fines.
- Then Florida event venues like the House of Blues and theatres are also named, along with specific events like concerts by Maroon 5, Zac Brown, David Aldean and Brooks and Dunn.
- Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean are also listed after the cruise lines issued Covid-19 vaccine mandates.
- The state is also pursuing potential charges against local governments in Gainesville, Leon County and Orange County, where Orlando is located.
These businesses and the events industry were the hardest-hit areas due to Covid-19, and the different waves exacerbated sectors that were already ailing.
A large majority of them are also crucial in boosting Florida's tourism industry, which is having a hard time growing and rebuilding.
Democrats have accused Governor DeSantis of continuing to hurt and punish these businesses when he claims to support them.
What do you think? Are the fines reasonable? If businesses and their employees don't have issues with the vaccine mandates, shouldn't they be allowed to implement the protocol? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments. And if you think more people should read this article, share it on social media.