Thursday, 10 June 2021 17:34

TX Gov. Signs Bill to Punish Businesses that Require Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

Written by Karen Brooks Harper, The Texas Tribune


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Texas businesses that require customers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will be denied state contracts and could lose their licenses or operating permits under legislation Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law June 7.

“Texas is open 100%, and we want to make sure you have the freedom to go where you want without limits,” Abbott said before signing the law, in a video he posted June 7 on Twitter. “Vaccine passports are now prohibited in the Lone Star State.”


Senate Bill 968 by state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, is a sweeping piece of legislation passed in the final days of the legislative session that includes a clause banning businesses from requiring proof of the vaccine from their customers.


Those that violate the ban may not contract with the state, and state agencies that oversee various sectors of business may decide to make compliance with the state law a condition of getting licensed or permitted.


Just under half of all Texans have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. About 36.5% of Texans are fully vaccinated.


Abbott issued an executive order in April banning state agencies, political subdivisions and organizations receiving public funds from creating "vaccine passports" or otherwise requiring someone to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to receive services.


Businesses may still implement “COVID-19 screening and infection control protocols in accordance with state and federal law to protect public health,” according to the new law, which goes into effect immediately.


Abbott’s signature on the new law comes as Carnival Cruise Line announced June 7 it would be restarting its cruises leaving from Galveston, TX, in July but only allow...

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