Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed an executive order banning vaccine passports on Tuesday, prohibiting state agencies and businesses from requiring people to show proof of vaccination before providing their services.

The ban was put in place to protect Montanans’ liberty and privacy rights, Gianforte said in a statement.

The Republican governor said he recommends all residents get vaccinated, but added that the choice will remain voluntary.

“I strongly encourage Montanans to get a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine, which is our best path to protect our family and friends and get back to a more normal life,” Gianforte said.

“Receiving one is entirely voluntary and will not be mandated by the State of Montana, nor compelled through vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other compulsory means.

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“We are committed to protecting individual liberty and personal privacy,” he continued.

The executive order prevents the state government from sharing whether an individual has been vaccinated with any person or entity. It further prohibits businesses from requiring proof of vaccination before allowing access to their services.

Gianforte’s order also prevents the state government from producing, issuing or funding vaccine passports of any kind.

Earlier this month, the governors of Florida and Texas also issued orders banning vaccine passports and vaccination requirements.

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