Early Tuesday morning, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide restriction on vaccine passports.

The executive order, however, is not as far-reaching as the one issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) last week.

“Texans shouldn’t be required to show proof of vaccination & reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,” Abbott tweeted. “I issued an Executive Order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas.”

In his executive order, Abbott wrote Texas “will not impose such vaccine passports with the police power that is reserved to the states.”

Abbott banned forcing individuals to receive a COVID-19 vaccination “administered under an emergency use authorization.” He also banned state and local governments from requiring citizens to show proof of receiving such vaccination “as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place.” His ban extends to “any public or private entity” receiving taxpayer dollars.

However, his order fell short of the one issued by DeSantis last week.

“Texas still allows businesses to require you to have a vaccine passport,” former State Rep. Matt Rinaldi tweeted.

“Airlines can still require a vax passport to travel in Texas. Sports teams can require it to attend games. Your grocery store can require it to buy food,” he added. “But you can go to city hall without one and pay your taxes.”

Stating vaccine passports “would create two classes of citizens based on vaccinations,” DeSantis banned private businesses in Florida from requiring proof of vaccination “or post-transmission recovery” in order to receive service, and further ordered state agencies under his authority to ensure businesses comply.

“The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon,” DeSantis tweeted.

Within his executive order, Abbott has asked the Texas Legislature to “address this important privacy issue” this session.

“In the hands of the Texas Legislature are numerous bills that would strengthen Texans’ rights to informed consent, medical privacy, and vaccine choice,” Jackie Schlegel of Texans for Vaccine Choice previously told Texas Scorecard. “We encourage Gov. Abbott to work with the Legislature to make these bills a priority.”

A full list of these bills can be found on TFVC’s website.

Concerned citizens may contact their state senator and state representative. Legislation may be tracked through Texas Legislature Online.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.