© Allison Ross/Tampa Bay Times
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks Monday, May 3, 2021 in St. Petersburg
Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he was issuing an executive order suspending any local pandemic-related restrictions.

During a bill signing at The Big Catch at Salt Creek, a restaurant near downtown St. Petersburg, DeSantis said ending local restrictions was the "evidence-based thing to do" considering the availability of vaccines.
"I think folks that are saying that 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, you don't believe in the data."
DeSantis on Monday signed Senate Bill 2006, passed by lawmakers last week that gives the governor the ability to override local emergency orders. That bill does not take effect until July 1, but DeSantis said he would issue an executive order suspending any local restrictions.

"The fact is, we're no longer in a state of emergency," he said.

The bill also makes permanent an executive order he signed earlier this month: It prohibits businesses, schools and government agencies from requiring people show documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccinations or post-infection recovery before gaining entry.

"You have a right to participate in society ... without having to divulge this type of information," DeSantis said Monday. The bill passed along party lines Thursday night, the second-to-last day of this year's legislative session.

Florida has been under a state of emergency for the pandemic since March last year. Last week, DeSantis extended the state of emergency for the state by another 60 days. DeSantis said the executive order he signed Monday applies only to local government-mandated orders, not mask mandates or social distancing policies enforced by businesses.
"In terms of what a supermarket or some of them choose to do, a Disney theme park, this does not deal with that one way or another. It's simply emergency orders and emergency penalties on individual businesses."