Arizona, Utah, and More States Join Texas and Florida in Banning Vaccine Passports
Following news that Texas and Florida banned agencies or businesses from requiring vaccine passports for service, several other states have followed suit.
Most recently, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order on Monday preventing state and local governments from requiring residents to disclose their vaccination status to receive service or enter an area.
"The residents of our state should not be required by the government to share their private medical information," Ducey said. "While we strongly recommend all Arizonans get the COVID-19 vaccine, it's not mandated in our state — and never will be. Vaccination is up to each individual, not the government."
Earlier this month, Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced that the state would not be participating in the concept of vaccine passports, in a press release that read, "vaccine passports create different classes of citizens. Vaccine passports restrict the free flow of commerce during a time when life and the economy are returning to normal. Vaccine passports threaten individual freedom and patient privacy."
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte announced on Twitter this month he signed a similar executive order.
Utah, however, is approaching the matter slightly differently. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Governor Spencer Cox has signed a bill that blocks state governments from requiring the people of Utah to get the COVID-19 vaccine but allows private businesses and institutions to use vaccine passports if they wish.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order prohibits "state agencies or political subdivisions" as well as businesses that receive public funds from the state from demanding to see proof of vaccination.
"Every day, 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. "We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans' personal freedoms."
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.
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.