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Marco Island City Council voted unanimously Monday to pass the first reading of an ordinance ensuring residents have the freedom to make their own decisions about their health. 

Under the Marco Island Health Freedom Bill of Rights ordinance, sponsored by Council Chair Greg Folley, private employers would be prohibited from asking for vaccine documentation and cannot impose COVID-19 vaccine or mask mandates on their employees.  

If passed, the city will not recognize any health mandates or direction from the World Health Organization or any other international body unless compelled by state or federal law. The city also will be prohibited from imposing vaccine or mask mandates upon its employees. 

An almost identical bill was passed by the Collier County Board of Commissioners in August, which is applicable to residents and business owners in the unincorporated parts of the county.  

“The reason I think it was a good idea is because it just highlights the overreach, which government committed at many levels during the COVID dispute and highlights our commitment to freedom, particularly in the health care space,” Folley said.  

Folley said Marco Island will be the first city in Florida to have passed a bill with this concept, and a supermajority vote by Council will be required to make any provisions to the ordinance once it is passed.  

Upon the unanimous vote, the second reading of the City of Marco Island Health Freedom Bill of Rights will be brought forward at a later date.  

“I applaud [Folley] for having the courage to speak up time and time again from this dais in support of our constitutional rights,” City Councilor Rich Blonna said.  

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