Vaccine Passports Create a Society of Two Tiers

Arizona, Utah, and More States Join Texas and Florida in Banning Vaccine Passports

While these states have taken steps to limit vaccine passports, New York has introduced its own.BY ALISON FOX UPDATED APRIL 20, 2021Enter your email here to unlock exclusive content.close dialogThe Cheapest Places to Travel in 2021Enter your email to unlock our expert list of travel destinations and much more.Email addressUNLOCK MY EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

Miami Airport

Travelers at Miami International Airport. | CREDIT: JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES

Following news that Texas and Florida banned agencies or businesses from requiring vaccine passports for service, several other states have followed suit.

Most recently, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order on Monday preventing state and local governments from requiring residents to disclose their vaccination status to receive service or enter an area.

“The residents of our state should not be required by the government to share their private medical information,” Ducey said. “While we strongly recommend all Arizonans get the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s not mandated in our state — and never will be. Vaccination is up to each individual, not the government.”

Earlier this month, Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced that the state would not be participating in the concept of vaccine passports, in a press release that read, “vaccine passports create different classes of citizens. Vaccine passports restrict the free flow of commerce during a time when life and the economy are returning to normal. Vaccine passports threaten individual freedom and patient privacy.”00:0000:37 Alaska Will Give Tourists Free COVID-19 Vaccines This Summer×Direct LinkYou might like×Greece Preparing to Welcome Tourists, Including Americans, Back on May 15Puerto Rico Will Fine Tourists Who Arrive Without a Negative COVID-19 PCR TestFrance Planning to Ease Travel Restrictions for Vaccinated Americans by This SummerHawaiians Will Soon Be Able to Travel Between Islands Without Quarantine, TestingThe Maldives Plans to Vaccinate Visitors Upon Arrival in Effort to Boost TourismCanada and U.S. Land Border Closure Extended for Non-essential Travel Another MonthState Department to Add More Than 100 Countries to ‘Do Not Travel’ List As COVID-19 ContinHow the SLS Baha Mar Created a COVID-19 ‘Safety Zone’ and Rolled Out an Epic Vacation PackInternational Travelers Heading to New York Will No Longer Have to Quarantine If They’re Fully VaccinatedIsrael Drops Outdoor Mask Order, Though Other COVID-19 Rules Still ApplyUK to Test Non-Social Distanced Music Festival With 5,000 PeopleOlympians Diagnosed With COVID-19 Will Reportedly Quarantine in Designated Tokyo HotelFrance Becomes First Country in Europe to Launch Digital Health Pass for TravelPuerto Rico Imposes $100 Fines for Tourists Who Violate Face Mask RulesVirgin Voyages Is Launching Mini UK Cruises This SummerThis European Island Nation Will Pay Tourists to Visit This SummerNorwegian Cruise Line Announces New Trips to Greece and the Caribbean This SummerTake a Cooking Lesson, Walking Tour, and Dance Class With Locals in the Bahamas Without GeNew York’s Excelsior Pass Will Replace Vaccine and Testing Paperwork — What to KnowYosemite National Park Is Bringing Back Reservation System to Limit CrowdsCDC Recommending Cruise Passengers, Crew Be Vaccinated Before BoardingQuarantine-free Travel Between New Zealand and Australia Starts April 19Maui Travelers Will Need to Take an Additional COVID-19 Test or Quarantine for 10 DaysCDC Study Finds Blocking Middle Seat on Planes Could Reduce Risk of Exposure to COVID-19Cambodia’s Angkor Temple Complex Closes for 2 Weeks to Curb the Spread of COVID-19Kauai Provides Incentive for Visitors to Take Voluntary Second Coronavirus TestUnited Airlines Will No Longer Board Planes From Back to FrontQatar Airways Operates First-Ever Fully-Vaccinated FlightViking Announces Vaccination, Testing Requirements for Passengers Along With New Cruises tTahiti and Bora Bora Will Welcome Tourists Again Starting May 1American Airlines Is Bringing Back Beverage Service This SummerTokyo Enacts ‘Quasi-Emergency’ Order to Curb COVID-19 Spread Ahead of OlympicsApple Maps Will Now Show You COVID-19 Information at Your AirportYou Can Visit Iceland Again — If You’re VaccinatedUnited Customers Can Now Schedule COVID-19 Tests, Be Cleared to Fly in Airline’s ‘Travel ROsaka Portion of Olympic Torch Relay to Be Held Without Spectators Due to Rise in COVID-194 Things to Consider As You Start Traveling Again, According to Rick StevesThe Best Kid-Friendly Hikes in the U.S., According to ParentsCelebrity Cruises Announces June Sailings to GreeceWalt Disney World Updates Face Mask GuidanceCroatia Becomes Latest Country to Exempt Vaccinated Travelers From Pre-Arrival Testing ReqA Guide to Vaccine Passport Apps for American TravelersFrench Residents Required to Stay Within 6 Miles of Home in New Lockdown MeasuresThis Map Shows You Where You Can Sunbathe Nude Around the WorldCelebrate Your Covid-19 Vaccination With a Free Doughnut From Krispy KremeSeychelles to Open Border to Tourists — No Quarantine or Vaccine RequiredDelta Resuming Flights to Iceland for Vaccinated Travelers From Minneapolis, JFK, and MoreThese Cruises Will Set Sail This Summer to the Caribbean — and Nearly Everyone Will Have tJapan Becomes Latest Country to Issue Digital Vaccine Passport

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte announced on Twitter this month he signed a similar executive order.

Utah, however, is approaching the matter slightly differently. According to The Salt Lake TribuneGovernor Spencer Cox has signed a bill that blocks state governments from requiring the people of Utah to get the COVID-19 vaccine but allows private businesses and institutions to use vaccine passports if they wish. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order prohibits “state agencies or political subdivisions” as well as businesses that receive public funds from the state from demanding to see proof of vaccination.

“Every day, Texans are returning to normal life as more people get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. But, as I’ve said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said. “We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”

Similarly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week issued an executive order of his own barring businesses from requiring customers to show they’re vaccinated to receive service, The Associated Press reported. Government agencies in the state are also banned from issuing any documentation that would be used to make a vaccine passport.

While these states have taken steps to limit vaccine passports, New York has introduced its own. New York requires proof of a negative test or vaccination to enter several venues, like sports arenas, and is using its Excelsior Pass app to make getting in a more seamless experience.

Several countries have also turned to vaccine passports to open their borders, welcoming inoculated travelers or waiving testing requirements for them, including Iceland and Croatia.Will you only travel if you’re vaccinated?

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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