DeSantis's health department will slap businesses with $5,000 fines if they request proof of vaccination
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. (Leonard Zhukovsky /

Gov. Ron DeSantis's administration is taking his war on vaccine mandates to a new level.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that a new Florida Department of Health rule will impose $5,000 fines on businesses, schools, and local governments that require proof of vaccination as a precondition for service.

What's more, the rule states that businesses can be fined up to $5,000 for each violation, meaning that a concert venue that requires vaccination proof for 10,000 attendees could theoretically be on the hook for a $50 million fine.

"Violators will be issued a notice of their infraction, and they'll have a chance to appeal their fines, the rule says," reports the Tampa Bay Times. "Once the fine is finalized, entities will have 30 days to pay it. The rule will go into effect Sept. 16."

DeSantis has made opposing pandemic restrictions a hallmark of his administration, as he has not only gone to war against vaccine mandates, but has also moved to strip funding from schools that impose mask requirements for students and faculty.

According to data compiled by the Financial Times, Florida is currently experiencing more than 21,000 new COVID-19 infections per day along with an average of 246 daily COVID-19 deaths.