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Gov. Lamont remains hands off on vaccine passport policy

When asked if he has plans to implement a vaccination passport by executive order Gov. Lamont said, "I don’t. But nor am I going to do anything like Florida."

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A few weeks after saying it was too early to think about a vaccine passport, Gov. Ned Lamont said he will not mandate such a policy by executive order.

FOX61 asked the Governor the question at an event in Bridgeport. New York has now partnered with a private company to develop a vaccine passport app, while Florida's Governor has banned the practice.

When asked if he has plans to implement a vaccination passport by executive order Gov. Lamont said, "I don’t. But nor am I going to do anything like Florida. I can’t believe they are telling businesses what they can or can’t do." He continued, "I think you might find restaurants and other venues who decided maybe they want to emphasize people who’ve been vaccinated and let them in."

The vaccine passport policy could come with a significant traveling advantage. But there are also freedom and big tech privacy concerns. The Connecticut Business and Industry Association told FOX61 they think it’s premature. President & CEO Chris DiPentima said, "I still say we are good six months to a year away before we are deciding that because we still don’t know if we need to be vaccinated again a year from now."

He explained that vaccine passport support may vary from business to business, industry to industry. "There are some businesses where a vaccine passport would actually hurt their business. Let’s say it’s a restaurant. Now I have smaller pool of people who can come and eat at my restaurant. Whereas an airline or theater industry may lean toward a vaccine passport because they want to make sure the people you are sitting next to have been vaccinated."

And then there’s the issue of employers mandating the COVID vaccine. Here in Connecticut, the Community Renewal Team made the decision to mandate the vaccine for their 400 employees as their programs work in close proximity to vulnerable populations like the homeless, and seniors. Four people have been granted exemptions. Jason Black, their Communications Director told FOX61. "They have very specific reasons for doing so it’s either because there is a health or medical concern, or they have a religious reason. We’re going to do what we can to accommodate those requests as best as possible."

Like masks and vaccines themselves, passports and employer mandates are poised to be the next politicized pandemic issue. "I think it makes a certain amount of sense, but again, I’m not going to mandate that. I think every business will decide for themselves," remarked Gov. Lamony.

The ACLU of Connecticut has also weighed in on this issue saying a passport system not only comes with big tech privacy concerns but could worsen existing racial, disability, and economic disparities.


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