MEMORANDUM: Executive Order 21-101 Invalidating All Remaining Local Emergency Orders Based on the COVID-19 Emergency

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-101, effective July 1, 2021, Invalidating All Remaining Local Emergency Orders Based on the COVID-19 Emergency. A copy of Executive Order 21-101 is provided below.

STATE OF FLORIDA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOREXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER 21-101
(Invalidating All Remaining Local Emergency Orders Based on the COVID-19 Emergency)
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-52, subsequently extended, declaring a state of emergency for the entire State of Florida as a result of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, the State of Florida led the national effort to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to seniors first and has now provided vaccines to nearly 9 million people; and
WHEREAS, every Floridian who desired a vaccine is eligible to obtain one, and Florida now maintains a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccines for every eligible Floridian who desires a vaccine to be vaccinated; and
WHEREAS, scientific studies show that vaccines protect individuals from COVID-19 and reduce hospitalizations and deaths caused by COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on April 29, 2021, Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees issued a Public Health Advisory (1) stating that continuing COVID-19 restrictions on individuals, including long-term use of face coverings and withdrawal from social and recreational gatherings, pose a risk of adverse and unintended consequences, (2) further expanding vaccine eligibility, and (3) advising government offices to resume in-person operations and services; and
WHEREAS, due to the tremendous steps the State has taken to protect Florida’s most vulnerable populations and rapidly offer vaccines to every eligible Floridian who desires one, local communities lack justification in continuing to impose COVID-related emergency orders restricting the rights and liberties of their citizens; and 
WHEREAS, on May 3, 2021, I signed into law SB 2006 – Emergency Management – which provides, effective July 1, 2021, that any emergency order issued by a political subdivision must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling public health or safety purpose, must be limited in duration, applicability, and scope in order to reduce any infringement on individual rights or liberties to the greatest extent possible, and may be invalidated by the Governor, at any time, if the Governor determines that such order unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties; and
WHEREAS, it is my determination that the remaining emergency orders issued by the political subdivisions of this State due to the COVID-19 emergency are not narrowly tailored to serve a public health or safety purpose and unnecessarily restrict individual rights and liberties, including the economic and commercial rights and liberties of business owners in this State; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ron DeSantis, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section 1(a) of the Florida Constitution and by the Florida Emergency Management Act, as amended, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order:
Section 1.        In order to protect the rights and liberties of individuals in this State and to accelerate the State’s recovery from the COVID-19 emergency, any emergency order issued by a political subdivision due to the COVID-19 emergency which restricts the rights or liberties of individuals or their businesses is invalidated.
Section 2.        Nothing herein prohibits a political subdivision of the State from enacting ordinances pursuant to regular enactment procedures to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its local population.  Only the COVID-19 emergency orders, as defined in SB 2006, enacted prior to July 1, 2021, are hereby invalidated.
Section 3.        This order is effective beginning on July 1, 2021 and shall be immediately filed with the Division of Administrative Hearings.
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