Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order on Monday prohibiting businesses in Texas from enforcing vaccine passports, the Governor announced on Tuesday.
"Vaccine passport" has been used to describe policies implemented by governments and/or businesses that requires citizens to show proof of vaccination before being allowed to enter a certain place or area. While supporters of such passports have argued that it is a necessary step to preventing the spread of coronavirus, critics have insisted that it is a draconian infringement on the personal freedom and privacy of citizens.
"Texans shouldn't be required to show proof of vaccination & reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives," Abbott tweeted, echoing the concerns expressed by those who oppose vaccine passports.
The executive order itself prohibits most businesses from requiring proof of vaccination "as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place." The order explicitly singles out businesses and other organizations which receive public funding by the state government.
The executive order includes exceptions for high-risk locations such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as for coronavirus vaccination centers which require knowledge of vaccination status to ensure that nobody receives more doses than necessary.
Texas is the second state after Florida to prohibit the use of vaccine passports.