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Unlike NYC, Texas cities cannot require vaccine proof for normalcy

Gov. Greg Abbott's latest set of pandemic rules prevents cities from mandating vaccines. Texas law also prevents businesses from requiring vaccine proof for service.

SAN ANTONIO — New York City mayor Bill de Blasio issued an executive order Tuesday barring unvaccinated people from entering indoor restaurants or gyms. 

New Yorkers will now have to flash their vaccine card to gain entry and service. 

"This is a miraculously place, literally full of wonders," de Blasio said. "If you're vaccinated, all of that is going to open up to you. You will have the key, and you can open the door. But if you're unvaccinated, unfortunately you will not be able to participate in many things."

Texas mayors and other elected officials do not have the authority to issue a similar directive. 

Gov. Greg Abbott's recent executive order bars public entities compelling "any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization." 

The order applies to schools, local governments, state agencies, and any businesses that receive taxpayer money through grants or government loans. 

"Any public or private entity that is receiving or will receive public funds through any means, including grants, contracts, loans, or other disbursements of taxpayer money, shall not require a consumer to provide, as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place, documentation regarding the consumer’s vaccination status for any COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization," the order states.

Officials that fail to comply with the rule could be fined up to $1,000.  

Texas businesses cannot ask patrons to show proof of vaccination, either. Lawmakers banned that practice in May. 

Violating companies would become ineligible for public contracts and government grants. State agencies can also strip operating licenses from companies that ask their customers for proof of a vaccine. 

The law does not prevent employers from mandating their employees get the shot. A number of courts have so far affirmed an employer's right to make vaccination a condition of employment.