x
Breaking News
More () »

Florida Surgeon General issues order to crack down on 'vaccine tourism'

Permanent Florida residents must show their state ID, while snowbirds, or temporary residents, can show a bill, such as a utility bill, to get vaccinated.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A new order is aimed at cracking down on people who may be traveling to Florida to get their COVID-19 vaccine and to put residents of the Sunshine State at the front of the line.

Florida has vaccinated more than one million people against the coronavirus, and around 39,000 of them are from out of state, according to the Florida Department of Health.

"There is no vaccine tourism. Hospitals are not allowed to engage in vaccine tourism. If there's one or two off where someone didn't follow the rules, then that's something we deal with," Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Friday on "Fox and Friends."

However, the State Health Department has reported vaccine tourism. The governor did open the door to the possibility some people with homes in Florida and elsewhere could be responsible for increasing that number. 

Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees issued a Public Health Advisory Thursday requiring people to provide proof of residency. 

"I do believe we're going to see a negative impact on our tourism dollars," David Rivera, Jr. said.

David Rivera, Jr., director of tourism and hospitality management at Flagler College, believes despite the effect on the economy stopping vaccine tourism is the right thing to do. 

"The chance of creating almost like a super spreader event will hopefully be minimized because the locals who are delivering these tourism services will be vaccinated and a little better protected," Rivera said. "Potentially I think we could see other states to capitalize on the void that may be created."

Permanent Florida residents must show their state ID, while snowbirds, or temporary residents, can show a bill, such as a utility bill, to get vaccinated.

RELATED: Out-of-state residents allowed to get vaccinated in Florida

RELATED: Walmart expands COVID-19 vaccinations to 7 more states

Paid Advertisement