AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday he won’t allow government-mandated “vaccine passports” in Texas.
He issued an executive order banning the documents that show proof of vaccination in order to travel, specifically internationally.
“Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,” he said in a video posted online. “We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did the same thing last week and condemned the use of them, saying, “It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society.”
The Biden administration has said it doesn’t plan to mandate the usage of vaccine passports.
“It’s not the role of the government to hold that data and to do that,” Andy Slavitt, a White House virus-response adviser said.
Vaccine passports aren’t a new thing to come along with COVID-19 — it’s just a different term. Travelers in South America, Africa and parts of Asia are required to carry and show at border crossings a “Carte Jaune,” or “Yellow Card,” proving they’ve been vaccinated for Yellow Fever if they’re coming from an area where the illness is common. It has been in use since 1959 and is officially called a certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis (ICVP).
Israel requires what they call a “green passport” for people to prove they’ve been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 to attend public events, and a similar idea is expected to launch in Denmark.
Proponents of the passports think it can help ensure travel safety and help boost the confidence of people wanting to travel.