Gov. Greg Abbott has signed a law that bans any business in Texas from requiring vaccine information from its patrons.
Senate Bill 968, written 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 customers to provide proof of having been vaccinated for COVID-19.
Texas businesses that violate the ban will be denied state contracts and could lose their licenses or operating permits.
Abbott issued an executive order in April banning state agencies, political subdivisions and organizations that receive 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 law, which went into effect immediately after it was signed.
“Texas is open 100 percent, and we want to make sure that you have the freedom to go where you want without limits,” Abbott said in a video tweeted last night.
Meanwhile, Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed that it plans to resume operations in Galveston next month and require that passengers show proof of vaccination. It's not clear how the cruise industry might be impacted by the law, since they operate across state lines and in international waters. The issue may wind up in court.
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