The governor signed the bill, S.B. 968, on Monday. It makes it illegal for any business in Texas to require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations to engage in business.
Abbott announced the move in a video posted to Twitter the same day, saying “Texas is open 100%.
“Texans should have the freedom to go where they want without any limits, restrictions, or requirements,” Abbott wrote. “Today, I signed a law that prohibits any [Texas] business or [government] entity from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information.”
In the video, Abbott said the state wanted to ensure Texans had “the freedom to go where you want without limits” and thanked the Texas legislature “for getting this bill to [his] desk” before signing the measure.
In addition to banning private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination, any business that does require proof of vaccination may not engage in state contracts and some state agencies that look over different business sectors may require compliance for licenses or permits.
The law still allows businesses to implement COVID-19 screening and infection measures that are in line with state and federal law. The law goes into effect immediately.
S.B. 968 was passed in the waning days of the legislative session. It came after Abbott signed an executive order into law banning state and local governmental agencies and political subdivisions from requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to use services.
Abbott issued the executive order last month after announcing the end of the state’s mask mandate.
“We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health – and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms,” Abbott said in April.
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