Some businesses ask that customers show proof of either being vaccinated against COVID-19 or a recent negative COVID-19 test. For example, a music venue might require concertgoers to show either a COVID-19 vaccination card or proof of a recent negative test in order to be admitted to their event.
State legislation and the governor's executive order prohibit COVID-19 vaccination requirements, but these laws do not explicitly address testing requirements. We have not found any laws that directly prohibit testing requirements for COVID-19.
Two sources of law address mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and being required to show proof of vaccination as a customer. Neither place any restrictions on testing for COVID-19.
First, the governor's Executive Order GA-40 prohibits any entity in Texas from requiring any individual to get a COVID-19 vaccine if they have an objection. However, the order does not address testing requirements.
Second, Section 161.0085 of the Texas Health & Safety Code prohibits businesses from requiring documentation of a person's COVID-19 vaccination status (often called a “vaccine passport”):
(c) A business in this state may not require a customer to provide any documentation certifying the customer's COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery on entry to, to gain access to, or to receive service from the business. A business that fails to comply with this subsection is not eligible to receive a grant or enter into a contract payable with state funds.
However, this statute does not prohibit testing requirements. The statute also notes that businesses can still follow other COVID-19 health and safety measures:
(e) This section may not be construed to:
(1) restrict a business from implementing COVID-19 screening and infection control protocols in accordance with state and federal law to protect public health;
This FAQ addresses a business or other establishment requiring proof of a negative test. For information about an employer requiring testing, see: Can an employer require me to show proof of a COVID-19 test?