Wisconsin lawmakers have passed a bill banning government entities and businesses from requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to receive services. Wisconsin is now the 16th state to prohibit the use of vaccine passports, while three states have begun using them.
The European Union and other foreign nations like Israel and Australia have gone to a digital passport system used by their citizens to get into gyms, restaurants, and workplaces. But in the U.S., individual states are making their own rules.
So what does it look like in the U.S. with and without the use of vaccine passports?
Prohibiting vaccination passports
Without passports, as state restrictions begin to lift, citizens will be able to go about their day attending gatherings without masks and without needing to provide proof that they received their shots. Essentially states will run on the honor system as most states still ask that unvaccinated people follow restrictions.
The 16 states to ban the use of vaccine passports are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Of those 16 states, only Wisconsin has a governor who is a Democrat; all other states to ban the passports have Republican governors.
Wisconsin state representative Tyler August said that the bill passed this week is in no way attempting to make citizens hesitant about the vaccine. Instead, the measure aims to protect the privacy of personal health care decisions made by citizens.
Among the first to ban the use of a vaccine passport was Florida when Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order in April.
DeSantis is one of 10 governors who have banned passports through an executive order. The other six were done through state legislatures.
Permitting Vaccination passports
States that have begun using vaccine passports allow businesses to ease restrictions on customers who provide proof of vaccination. Customers who don’t provide proof of immunization must continue to follow covid regulations like wearing masks and social distancing.