Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he will sign legislation on Monday prohibiting businesses in his state from requiring proof of "vaccine passports or any vaccine information."
"Texas is open 100% without any restrictions or limitations or requirements," Abbott tweeted Monday.
Abbott signed an executive order in April banning government entities from requiring vaccine passports, but The Hill reports the new law would extend to private businesses as well.
Only two states — New York and Hawaii — have implemented vaccine passport rules. The Hill reports that New York allows residents to get a digital certificate that shows they have been vaccinated and allows for admission at sports venues like Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden. Hawaii’s Safe Travels program allows the vaccinated to travel between islands without adhering to testing or quarantine rules.
The Hill reports Texas will be the seventh state to enact a formal law barring use of the passports, joining Alabama, Indiana, Iowa and North Dakota, while Utah and Arkansas have barred governments from requiring proof of vaccination.
Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming have signed executive orders by their respective Governors limiting a governmental agency’s ability to require vaccine passports, and legislation is pending in dozens of other states, the article states.
Abbott's tweet on Monday about the new legislation came in response to a question asked about why he was allowing cruise ships to sail out of Texas when they were kicked out of Florida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida previously signed an executive order banning vaccine passports and recently signed a law that goes into effect July 1 that will fine companies that require proof of vaccination — $5,000 per instance. Many cruise lines make berth out of Florida.
Norwegian Cruise Line said Monday that more ships will return to sailing, including from Port Miami and Port Canaveral in Florida, this year, and it will stick with plans to require passengers to be vaccinated for now.
“All initial voyages will operate with fully vaccinated guests and crew,” according to a company press release, although just how the ships sailing from Florida will deal with the state’s “vaccine passport” ban is still in the works, the Orlando Sentinel reports.