Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law banning businesses from requiring “vaccine passports” in the Lone Star State.
The governor signed the bill, S.B. 968, which makes it illegal for any business in Texas to require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations to engage in business.
Abbott announced the move in a video posted to Twitter the same day, saying, “Texas is open 100%.
“No business or government entity can require a person to provide a vaccine passport or any other vaccine information as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place,” he explained. “I want to thank the Texas Legislature for getting this bill to my desk.”
In a statement to the press about the controversial legislation, Abbott wrote, “Texans should have the freedom to go where they want without any limits, restrictions, or requirements. Today, I signed a law that prohibits any [Texas] business or [government] entity from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information.”
Business licenses and operating permits will be under jeopardy for any business that requires its customers to show proof of vaccination.
In addition to banning private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination, any business that does require proof of vaccination may not engage in state contracts, and some state agencies that look over different business sectors may require compliance for licenses or permits.
The law still allows businesses to implement COVID-19 screening and infection measures that are in line with state and federal law. The law goes into effect immediately. Abbott went on to state that Texas will continue to vaccinate more people without treading on the personal freedoms of its residents.
The law comes as about 36 percent of Texans have been reported to be fully vaccinated, and just under half of the population have received at least one dose of a vaccine.