Spring, Texas – On April 5th, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning the use of vaccine passports in Texas. Now, no government entities within the state will be able to mandate proof of vaccination.
The Biden administration and the Department of Health and Human Services have proposed vaccine passports to reopen the nation safely. Private businesses and organizations could rely on this proof of vaccination to regulate entry into specific areas. Multiple airlines and sports venues have announced they will require proof of vaccination from their guests. Health officials believe that vaccination credentials can drastically reduce the spread of disease on an international scale.
However, under Abbott’s executive order, the government cannot require the use of vaccine passports or cards in public spaces. Additionally, the order emphasizes no publicly-funded organizations can limit entry or services on the grounds of vaccinations. The terms of the order do not apply to long-term healthcare facilities or nursing homes.
When announcing the order, the governor emphasized his belief that “these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced.” He stated that the “government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information. ”
The order comes one week after the state opened up vaccine eligibility for all residents above 16. Currently, 30.02% of Texas has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 17.2% of the population has been fully vaccinated.