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You'll now need to prove residency to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Florida

Jan. 22, 2021
3 min read
You'll now need to prove residency to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Florida
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Visitors hoping to score a COVID-19 vaccine in Florida will now have to prove residency in order to get on the wait list.

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The state of Florida cracked down on "vaccine tourism" Thursday, with Surgeon General Scott Rivkees now requiring proof of permanent or seasonal Florida residency in order to receive vaccinations.

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“The Covid-19 vaccine remains scarce within the U.S., and vaccine availability in Florida is extremely limited,” Rivkees said in a statement announcing the new directive. Rivkees emphasized the importance of prioritizing the health of Floridians, since vaccine quantities are still severely limited for locals and visitors alike.

Related: Traveling soon? Here's where you can get a COVID-19 PCR test

Vaccine seekers can prove residency by providing official documents such as driver licenses or mortgage statements for property owned in Florida. Healthcare workers who come in direct contact with patients, and workers in similar capacities such as first responders, are exempted from the residency requirement at this time.

Related: US-bound travelers will soon need a negative PCR test to enter the country

Florida began offering the vaccine to people 65 and older, including nonresidents, in December 2020. The decision quickly led to a number of foreigners and winter vacationers taking advantage of the program, according to Miami newspaper The Sun-Sentinel, which highlighted a handful of individual offenders in addition to some rising trends in vaccine-driven travel. Locals have raised an outcry in response, with many senior citizens and healthcare professionals decrying the fact that rich visitors from elsewhere can exploit the loophole and "skip the line."

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has discouraged travelers from visiting the state solely for the sake of scoring a vaccination. However, DeSantis has expressed support for vaccine seekers who own property in Florida but reside elsewhere for at least part of the year.

In execution, cities and counties are responsible for enforcing their own local policies. While Jackson Health System in Miami has yet to update its website's frequently asked COVID-19 vaccine questions page to reflect the new policy, news outlets report that vaccinations now require either photo identification with birthdate, or two documents proving Florida residency, such as utility bills or tax documents.

Featured image by (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases