Abbott Signs Weak Executive Order That Doesn't Stop Businesses from Requiring Vaccine Passports

Nursing homes and elder care facilities are also exempt from the order

National File
Apr. 06, 2021

Texas Governor Greg Abbott seemingly “banned” vaccine passports with an executive order today, yet private businesses can still require whatever documentation they choose.

Governor Abbott announced the executive order on Tuesday, noting that 13 million doses of the COVID vaccine have already been given in Texas, claiming that a “return to normalcy” was permitted via taking the vaccine. Abbott noted that the vaccines are meant to be “voluntary, and never forced,” and that “government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and require private health information just to go about their daily lives.”

“We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health, and we will do so without treading on Texans’s personal freedoms,” Abbott said in a video released along with the executive order.

Early media reports claimed that Abbott has therefore “banned” vaccine passports, but this couldn’t be further from the case. Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis actually banned vaccine passports, whereby Florida government agencies are prevented from issuing passports, and “businesses in Florida are prohibited from requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business,” with businesses being made to comply with this order.

In contrast, Abbott’s order merely prevents government-mandated vaccine passports, with the vast majority of private businesses remaining unaffected.

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