Source: Niamh Harris

South Dakota has become the latest US state to officially ban vaccine passports.

Republican Governor Kristi Noem condemning the passports as “un-American” and “freedom-restricting.”

She said: “we are not going to restrict freedom with un-American policies like vaccine passports

Noem announced that she had signed an executive order banning “government-instituted” vaccine passports throughout the entirety of South Dakota, in a statement issued on Wednesday,

“Since the start of the COVID pandemic, we have provided South Dakotans with up-to-date science, facts, and data and then trusted them to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved-ones,” Noem said, claiming that South Dakota is now “stronger” for having resisted government mandates during the pandemic.

RT reports: According to the executive order, no “state agency, department, board, commission, or other executive branch entity or official under direct control of the Governor shall require an individual to present a COVID-19 vaccine passport” to enter a government building or do business with the state. Nor should any agency, commission, or local government order a private business to mandate vaccine passports, the executive order said.

South Dakota joins several other states, including Florida, Texas, Arizona, Idaho, and Utah, which have also banned mandatory vaccine passports.

Though some of the states allow private businesses to implement their own vaccine requirements for customers, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued his own executive order banning businesses from asking customers for their vaccination status earlier this month.

DeSantis argued that vaccine passports “would create two classes of citizens,” and that a total ban is “necessary to protect the fundamental rights and privacies of Floridians and the free flow of commerce within the state.”

New York and Hawaii have both decided to launch a vaccine passport system, while internationally, Israel implemented its own system in March. The UK is also planning to introduce vaccine passports in the coming months, despite criticism and a petition against the idea receiving nearly 350,000 signatures.