October 13, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

The Governor of Texas has signed an executive order banning vaccine mandates in the US state, which has a larger population than Australia.

Republican governor Greg Abbott’s order, announced on Monday, prohibits any business in Texas from requiring employees or customers to be vaccinated or using vaccine passports.

This will mean business, public and community events in the state will see mixing of vaccinated and unvaccinated attendees, raising the risk for event organisers, owners and participants and increasing the chance of super spreader occurrences in an event setting.

In communicating the order, Abbott called US President Joe Biden’s implementation of vaccine mandates “yet another instance of federal overreach” and said the Biden Administration was “now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ s continued recovery from the COVID- 19 disaster”.

On a national level, the President has brought in rules which requires all organisations with over 100 employees to have a fully vaccinated workforce or require unvaccinated workers to have a COVID test at least once a week. There are additional mandates in place for Federal Government employees and those working in the health sector.

Texas has recorded over 48,000 COVID-19 cases in the last week and 1,682 deaths. Almost 63 percent of the population in the state aged 12 or over is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.