On April 19, 2021, Gov. Doug Ducey issued Executive Order 2021-09 banning state and local governments and businesses under contracts with the state from requiring a “vaccine passport” to receive services or enter an area. In doing so, Arizona becomes the next in a line of states that have recently enacted legislation or executive orders to prohibit so-called “vaccine passports” in whole or part.
The new Executive Order generally applies to the following:
- State agencies, counties, cities, towns, and other political subdivisions; and
- Businesses receiving public funds from the State of Arizona pursuant to a contract to provide service to the public.
State and local governments and agencies are prohibited from adopting any measures that require individuals to provide documentation of COVID-19 vaccination status as a condition of entering any building, facility or other space, or as a condition of receiving any service, permit, license or other work authorization requirement—unless proof of vaccination is currently a requirement under state law.
Businesses providing public services under a contract with the state likewise cannot require a customer to provide documentation regarding the individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status as a condition of receiving state contracted services unless proof of vaccination is currently a requirement under state law.
The new Executive Order, however, excepts certain types of businesses that may still require documentation of COVID-19 vaccines before allowing entry or providing services, such as the following:
- Private businesses are not covered by this Order and, thus, may require COVID-19 vaccine documentation in order for customers to enter or receive services.
- Health care institutions, including hospitals, nursing care institutions, residential care institutions, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, group homes, or other medical facilities may still require documentation of a patient, resident, employee, or visitor’s COVID-19 vaccination status.
- Child care centers or homes, schools, and universities are excepted and may require a student’s vaccination records pursuant to state law.
- State and local health departments may require individuals to provide documentation of COVID-19 vaccination status during a COVID-19 outbreak investigation.
The new Executive Order, like others, will remain in place until the termination of the public health emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses should carefully review Executive Order 2021-09 and consult legal counsel if there is any question about whether or how this Executive Order applies to your business.