Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a measure on Monday banning the use of vaccine passports in the Lone Star State, joining other GOP-led states, such as Alabama and Florida, which have taken similar action.
“Texas is open 100 percent, and we want to make sure that you have the freedom to go where you want without limits,” Abbott said in a video posted Monday.
“The Texas Legislature passed a law that I’m about to sign that prohibits vaccine passports in Texas. No business or government entity can require a person to provide a vaccine passport or any other vaccine information as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place,” he continued, thanking the Texas legislature for getting the measure to his desk.
“Vaccine passports are now prohibited in the Lone Star State,” the Republican governor said after signing the measure, Senate Bill 968, into law:
Entities that violate the law could lose state contracts. Additionally, state agencies “that oversee various sectors of business may decide to make compliance with the state law a condition of getting licensed or permitted,” per the Texas Tribune.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) took similar action in May, signing a bill banning the use of vaccine passports in the Sunshine State.
“In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision,” DeSantis said at the time of the bill’s signing.
Last month, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed Senate Bill 267, which stops “state and local governments from issuing vaccine passports to Alabamians” and “also prevents businesses in the state from refusing service to a customer based on their vaccination status.” However, the measure does not prevent employers from requiring employees to get vaccinated.
Other states taking action against vaccine passports, via either executive action or legislation, include Arizona, Indiana, Idaho, Montana, South Carolina, and South Dakota.