Vaccine passport requirement moves step closer to honor system at Utah Capitol

Mar 2, 2022, 7:51 PM
FILE - A medical staff member prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in Mecca...
FILE - A medical staff member prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in Mecca, Calif. on Jan. 21, 2021. In the early days of 2021, television screens were filled with images of people across the country getting shots of the new COVID-19 vaccine. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — Any requirement in Utah that businesses or government entities must check the  COVID-19 immunization status — i.e. a vaccine passport — of workers and citizens moved one step closer to death in the Legislature this week. A state senator explains a bill’s progression from vaccine passport to an honor system between employer and employee.

House Bill 60, which would prohibit businesses and government from requiring vaccine passports for entry, passed Tuesday on a 7-to-2 vote of in the Utah Senate:

This bill enacts a prohibition on the use of an individual’s immunity status by places of public accommodation, governmental entities and employers.

The bill awaits approval by the full Senate. But things got heated before the vote in the Senate Taxation and Revenue Committee meeting.

One man in attendance violating the Legislature’s rules of decorum “was asked to leave and wouldn’t, so he was helped out of the meeting, then arrested and cited,” said UHP Cpl. Tara Wahlberg.

Utah Bill To Ban Vaccine Passports Given Committee OK After Tense Meeting

Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, who chairs the committee, joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic to discuss the bill and what it means for employees, employers and customers.

During an interim legislative session, McCay said a bill was passed that required employers to offer vaccine exemptions under three specific situations:

  1. religious exemption
  2. medical reason
  3. personal-belief exemption

“The hard part of balancing the bill is trying to get the property rights of the individual or business balanced appropriately against somebody’s desire to have the people that enter their property be vaccinated,” McCay said.

Honor system

“Can a company, under this this bill, require me as an employee to show them my vaccine status?” Debbie asked.

“That is the the clarification the bill: It does not allow employers to ask for a copy of a vaccination card or anything else. Employers aren’t now allowed to ask for personal medical information or documentation to support it.

“They can ask you if you’re vaccinated, then you can answer yes or no, but they cannot — and this is consistent with HIPAA and other regulations — force you to produce medical documentation showing that you are vaccinated or whatever else,” McCay said.

“So they just have to take your word for it,” Dave said.

“Yes, they got to take your word for it. And if you don’t trust your employee, that’s a tough spot to be in as well,” McCay said.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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Vaccine passport requirement moves step closer to honor system at Utah Capitol