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Could vaccine passports be required in Michigan?

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 3:22 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - There’s a debate over so-called vaccine passports that’s getting louder.

The passport would be proof that you’ve been vaccinated in order to travel or visit certain businesses.

Tech companies are racing to build apps to create a digital vaccine passport. In the future, some airlines, stadiums or even universities could require proof of vaccination.

“If you do require that, then certainly you don’t have as many restrictions to follow. The other advantage of that, I think it provides some incentive for people to get vaccinated when they start finding out that the private sector businesses may start requiring it, but it will also no doubt result in the political pushback,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail.

The political pushback has already started. Governors in several states have banned the idea of vaccine passports.

There’s an effort in the Michigan legislature to prohibit local governments from requiring them, but what about privately owned businesses?

The Michigan and Lansing Regional Chambers of Commerce say they haven’t heard that any of their members are considering this.

“If you’re a store and you’re thinking, ‘Well maybe we want to require a vaccine passport to enter,’ that’s going to disenfranchise maybe half of your customers. Can you really afford to be off-putting to a potential pool of customers when you’re trying to maybe rebuild your business post-pandemic?” said Wendy Block with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

The Michigan Princess plans to re-start its lunch cruises in June with one for fully vaccinated people only. That would require proof of vaccination.

The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau created a pledge for businesses to sign to let visitors know they’re taking precautions.

“We do have a lot of visitors who look to our information about our Greater Lansing Safe Pledge, so knowing that this is a community that takes the safety of our visitors seriously and that we want people to come here and feel comfortable and feel safe and feel like they are also welcomed into our community,” said Julie Pingston with the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Thursday, Michiganders opposed to the vaccine passport plan to gather at the Capitol for a rally.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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