Texas, Florida Governors Issue Ban on Vaccine Passports

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Governors from Texas and Florida have banned agencies or businesses in their respective states from requiring vaccine passports for service.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Tuesday "prohibiting state agencies or political subdivisions" as well as businesses that receive public funds from the state from demanding to see proof of vaccination.

"Everyday, 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 statement. "We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans' personal freedoms."

The move comes as the Biden administration has said it won't be involved in creating vaccine passports and won't require any businesses to use them, but will look to publish guidelines for the public on them, Reuters reported.

"The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a White House briefing earlier this week. "There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential."

Similarly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week issued an executive order of his own barring businesses from requiring customers to show they're vaccinated to receive service, The Associated Press reported. Government agencies in the state are also banned from issuing any documentation that would be used to make a vaccine passport.

While these states have taken steps to limit vaccine passports, New York has introduced its own. New York requires proof of a negative test or vaccination to enter several venues, like sports arenas, and is using its Excelsior Pass app to make getting in a more seamless experience.

Several countries have also turned to vaccine passports to open their borders, welcoming inoculated travelers or waiving testing requirements for them, including Iceland and Croatia.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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