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'Vaccine passport' in Arkansas? Governor says to leave it up to the private sector

Gov. Asa Hutchinson weighed in on government-mandated Covid-19 "vaccine passports" Tuesday.

ARKANSAS, USA — Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says there are no plans for the state government to implement a Covid-19 "vaccine passport" program for Arkansans. 

The discussion about vaccine passports is making headlines across the country as more and more Americans can get Covid-19 vaccines, and restrictions are lifted for businesses and travel. 

During his weekly Covid-19 press conference on Tuesday (April 6), Hutchinson said he believes private businesses have the right to do what they believe is best to protect themselves from the virus. Still, he does not think proving you have a Covid-19 vaccine should be a restriction when it comes to traveling. 

"I think you have to give latitude to the private sector," Hutchinson said. "As a government, no, the state will not be requiring or mandating vaccinations." 

President Biden in March said the federal government would not be developing a federal national vaccine passport

Proof of certain vaccinations is already required to travel to some international locations, our VERIFY team reports.

On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott banned government-mandated vaccine passports in the state. A vaccine passport currently only exists in one state, with a limited government partnership in New York with a private company.

A bill has been introduced in the Arkansas Legislator to prevent government officials from requiring a vaccine passport, banning their use as a condition of "entry, travel, education, employment or services." It's unclear if the bill will continue to be pushed by legislators following Governor Asa Hutchinson's comments on Tuesday. 

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