It’s Official: Businesses in Texas Can’t Require Proof of Vaccination
It's been a debate that's raged since COVID-19 vaccinations began rolling out and recipients were issued cards proving they'd had the shot - should businesses be allowed to refuse service to people who haven't yet been vaccinated?
Even some of us who are pro-vaccine that was taking things to an extreme, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott agreed.
Back in April, Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies from denying service to people who don't have a 'vaccine passport'.
Today, Abbott signed into law a bill that prohibits businesses from the same practice.
Texas Senate Bill 968 mostly has to do with Texas' preparedness for and response to public health emergencies, but there's language beginning on page 13 of the legislation that specifically bans businesses from requiring someone to provide documentation certifying their vaccination status. Basically, they can't deny you entry or service if you don't have proof you were vaccinated for COVID-19.
Abbott confirmed that he'd signed the bill on Twitter Monday.
"I’m signing a law today that prohibits any business operating in Texas from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information," Abbott wrote. "Texas is open 100% without any restrictions or limitations or requirements."
So, how is this enforced?
According to the bill, businesses who violate the ban could lose licenses and permits from state oversight agencies, and a violation would lead to a ban on making any contract with the State of Texas.
The bill does not prohibit businesses from setting their own COVID-19 safety protocols, so if a business requires you to wear a mask, either be cool about it or find another place to shop.