The Economist  |  May 1, 2021

Its new rule is probably legal. States cannot prohibit citizens from travelling between them. But Hawaii’s policy allows for reasonable alternatives for those without vaccination proof, so it is probably appropriate, says Lawrence Gostin of Georgetown University.

State bans that affect private businesses could face legal challenges, however. One state, New York, has implemented a voluntary passport system for entrance into venues. Called Excelsior Pass, this provides proof of vaccination or a negative covid-19 test for entry to basketball games and other large gatherings. But Montana, Texas and Florida have tried to prevent private businesses from requiring vaccine passports, via executive orders from the governor. This goes too far, says Mr Gostin. “It’s unlawful for a governor of a state to ban vaccine passports,” he says, speaking specifically about the orders by Texas and Florida for private businesses.

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