Austin, TX

Willie Nelson Requires Vaccination Proof Even If Texas Gov Abbott Doesn't

Ash Jurberg

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The COVID battle continues to rage in Texas. Well, a couple of battles, actually. One is the battle to stop the growing spread of Delta, which is threatening to overrun Texas. The other is over masks and vaccination.

This week two restaurants in Austin were threatened with the loss of their liquor license for requiring proof of vaccination for customers.

A statement was sent from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to businesses again advising them that the state government office has the power to take away liquor licenses from companies that are not in compliance with the bill (SB968). SB 968 was authored by state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, who is firmly against vaccine passports.

“TABC wants to remind businesses in Texas that state law now prohibits businesses from requiring customers to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. TABC may require compliance with this law as a condition of holding a license, permit, certificate, or other authorization.”

The two restaurants that were highlighted by Fox NEW - Fresas and Laundrette, both in Austin, were contacted by the TABC shortly after the two restaurants posted that they would no longer require proof of vaccination for entry.

This hasn't stopped the Outlaw Music Festival in Austin, Texas, from demanding patrons show proof of a negative COVID test or vaccination to attend. Being held this Sunday, August 22, performers include Willie Nelson & Family, Chris Stapleton, Ryan Bingham, and Yola.

Germania Insurance Amphitheater, the venue for Sunday's Outlaw Music Festival, posted: "UPDATE: Outlaw Music Festival at Germania Insurance Amphitheater on Sunday, August 22, 2021, will require a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the event OR proof of vaccination for entry."

It is unsure if Gov Abbott will advise the venue to remove this requirement as it violates a new Texas state law that went into effect in June and prevents businesses from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for entry. 

The official website states:

All fans must have received a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test within 72-hours before entry to the facility and provide printed proof of a negative result prior to entering the venue. Or, be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least two weeks after final dose) and provide proof of vaccination - either the original vaccination card or a printed copy of the vaccination card.

Patrons planning to attend the event were caught off guard, stating they were caught off guard, and it is very little notice.

It will be interesting to see what impact this new requirement will have on attendee numbers and if other festivals will follow suit. Yesterday Moody Amphitheater advised that masks will be required for Gary Clark Jr.'s concerts this Friday and Saturday.

Readers, what do you think? Should venues be allowed to request proof of vaccination? Or do you agree with the new Texas state law that prohibits this requirement?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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