D.C. has one, and now Montgomery County, Maryland, is considering requiring a COVID-19 vaccine “passport.” Such a measure would mean patrons of bars, restaurants and a number of other businesses must provide proof of vaccination.
The measure is being introduced to the County Council with presentations from Raymond Crowel, the director of the county’s Health and Human Services Department; James Bridgers, the county’s acting health officer; and Earl Stoddard, assistant chief administrative officer.
Under the proposal, anyone entering a restaurant, bar, theater or fitness center, for example, would have to provide proof of vaccination for entry. Houses of worship, grocery stores and big-box stores, however, would not have to require it.
According to the resolution being submitted to the council, a vaccination card issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or an immunization certificate from MyIR — the state’s portal that provides access to immunization records — would serve as proof.
If passed by the County Council, the resolution would go into effect in stages, the first being Jan. 22, when anyone 12 or older would have to show that they have had at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The third and final stage would go into effect March 1, when anyone 5 or older would have to show that they are fully vaccinated but not boosted.
A public hearing on the vaccine passport is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 18.
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