Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order on Tuesday banning any government agency from requiring “vaccine passports” in the state, NBC News reports.
"Texans are returning to normal life as more people get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. But as I've said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced," Abbott said in a video posted to social media.
"Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal health information just to go about their daily lives,” he continued. “That is why I have issued an executive order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas. We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans' personal freedoms."
Abbott previously ended the state’s mask mandate and lifted all coronavirus restrictions on businesses.
Abbott’s move followed a similar order from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis barring agencies and businesses from requiring “vaccine passports.”
The order bars the issuance of “vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccine status to a third party” and bans businesses from requiring documentation to prove they’ve been vaccinated.
“Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports,” he said on Twitter. “The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon.”
Biden rules out federal vaccine passports:
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the Biden administration would not push for a federal vaccine passport.
"The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential," Psaki told reporters.
“Our interest is very simple from the federal government, which is American's privacy and rights should be protected so that these systems are not used against people unfairly," she added.