Vaccine passports are banned in Texas to ensure that people have “the freedom to go where they please, without restrictions,” the governor announced — modeled on the Republican governors of Florida and Alabama.
Greg Abbott, governor since 2015, signed the bill Monday.
“Texas is 100 percent open and we want to make sure you can come and go as you please,” he said in a video posted online.
“The Texas legislature has passed a bill that I am about to sign that bans vaccination passports in Texas.
“No company or government agency can require a person to provide a vaccine passport or other vaccine information as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place.”
Texas governor Greg Abbott signed a law Monday banning the use of vaccine passports by companies or local governments. Any entity that needs them may lose their licenses or permits under Abbott law
Abbott thanked the Texas legislature for passing the bill, which he signed
Abbott then signed the bill — Senate Bill 968 — with a wave, declaring, “Vaccine passports are now banned in the Lone Star State.”
Companies that violate the vaccine passport law could lose state contracts.
In addition, government agencies could make compliance with the ban a condition for obtaining licenses or permits.
Abbott later celebrated Texas’ success in battling the pandemic, announcing that the state has hit a new low in its seven-day positivity rate of just 2.81 percent.
Only two fatalities had been recorded on Sunday, he said — just two days less since the start of the pandemic.
Hospital admissions remain near the 13-month low, he said, adding, “Well done, Texans!”
The issue of vaccine passports is causing great division.
The White House has said they will not receive a federal mandate, while White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on April 6 that the federal government “does not now support a system that requires Americans to have a degree.”
She added that ‘there will be no federal vaccination database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to have a single vaccination reference’
Still, some Democratic states have introduced their own vaccine passports, promoting them as an easy way to ensure the safety of anyone who gathers in a location.
In New York, the Excelsior Pass — a free digital certificate displayed on a phone — is widely used at venues such as Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, Citi Field, and Yankee Stadium, which were open with limited seating for fans.
An Orange County firefighter holds out his vaccination card after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in Irvine, California, on Jan. 27. Vaccine Passports Are Not Federally Required, But Some States Have Embraced Them
Mask mandates have been lifted by most states. Pictured is a Kroger store in Houston, Texas on March 10. Texas lifted its statewide mask mandate on March 2, though stores can still enforce the rule if they want to
Major sports stadiums and arenas will start dividing seating areas into ‘vaccinated’ and ‘unvaccinated’ sections – and some owners have indicated that much more space will be set aside for the former, requiring no masks or social distancing.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Radio City Music Hall will reopen 100 percent on June 19 for the final night of the Tribeca Film Festival, but all customers must be vaccinated and show their vaccine passport.
Some bars and restaurants in New York City are now asking to see it.
However, the Republican-led states are moving in the opposite direction.
Many have already banned their local governments from applying for vaccination status, and some have gone a step further — such as Texas — and banned all vaccine passports.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was one of the first to ban vaccine passports and signed a bill in May.
“In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no company or government agency will be able to deny you services based on your decision,” he said at the bill’s signing.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has also signed a similar bill that “prevents state and local governments from issuing vaccine passports to Alabamians” and “also prevents companies in the state from refusing service to a customer based on their vaccination status.” ‘.
However, the measure signed on May 24 does not prevent employers from requiring employees to be vaccinated.
Other states taking action against vaccine passports and verification of status, through executive action or legislation, include Arizona, Indiana, Idaho, Montana, South Carolina and South Dakota.