06:02 GMT14 April 2021
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    Some US states have already approved the use of digital passes, which confirm that a person has tested negative for COVID-19 or was inoculated against it, but their use so far has been purely voluntary.

    A number of lawmakers and governors from the Republican Party have openly opposed the idea of introducing COVID vaccine passports, alleging that such a notion might be "unconstitutional".

    There is currently no federal order that stipulates the creation of such vaccine passports and their mandatory requirement in the US. President Joe Biden's administration said it would only issue non-binding guidelines in regards to the introduction of vaccine passports, but stressed that local governments and businesses will have a final say in the matter.

    Dashon Bates, 28, receives his coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine as vaccine eligibility expands to anyone over the age of 16 at the Bradfield Community Center through Health Partners of Western Ohio in Lima, Ohio, U.S., March 29, 2021.  REUTERS/Megan Jelinger
    MEGAN JELINGER
    Dashon Bates, 28, receives his coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine as vaccine eligibility expands to anyone over the age of 16 at the Bradfield Community Center through Health Partners of Western Ohio in Lima, Ohio, U.S., March 29, 2021. REUTERS/Megan Jelinger

    However, if Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has his way, there will be no COVID vaccine passports in his state. He vowed to take executive action if needed to forbid any such documents showing that a person was inoculated against the disease. DeSantis has also slammed the idea as invasive.

    "It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply participate in normal society", Ron DeSantis said.

    DeSantis was not the only head of a US state to voice opposition to the proposal. GOP governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, slammed the alleged plans of the White House to introduce COVID-19 vaccination passports in the country as the "most un-American idea".

    House Republican for Colorado, Lauren Boebert, in turn, expressed an opinion that such vaccine passports go against the US constitution. She elaborated that such documents would be used to "control" what Americans do and where they can go, arguing that this would be a violation of their "privacy".

    At the same time, New York City has recently made the first attempts to introduce vaccine passports into people's lives. At this point, their use is not mandatory per se, but some facilities and activities would still require proof from a resident that they are not dangerous to the public – either via a negative COVID test or via proof of vaccination. The New York government in cooperation with the IBM tech giant has recently introduced the digital Excelsior Pass, which city residents can use as one of the ways to visit large sporting events or attend larger weddings (150 attendees large versus only 50).

    The Democrat governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont, in turn, stated that his state is also mulling the introduction of a similar digital vaccination passport that, in theory, would allow the opening up of more businesses after the lockdowns.

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    Republican Party, coronavirus, COVID-19, passport, vaccine, US
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