Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich’s administration has finalized a vaccine passport proposal for certain businesses countywide — contingent on a vote by the County Council.

The proposal states that those 12 and older — and eventually, 5 and older — would need to show proof of vaccination at the following establishments, as well as other similar businesses:

  • Restaurants, bars and nightclubs
  • Indoor entertainment venues, including bowling alleys, billiard and pool halls, museums, movie theaters, performing arts theaters, arcades and others
  • Indoor gyms and similar establishments
  • Hotels, conference centers and similar venues
  • Other establishments designated by the county’s health officer

The vaccine passport requirement would not apply to people entering any establishment for a quick period, like placing a takeout order or making a delivery. The proposal allows for religious and medical exemptions.

Those older than 12 would have to provide proof of having both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of the single Johnson and Johnson vaccine by Feb. 15. Those ages 5 to 11 years old have until March 1 to get both doses of a two-dose series.

Children turning 5 years old on or after March 1 have a month after their birthday to provide proof of vaccination. Acceptable proof either could be a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine card, an immunization record or a state record of the vaccination, or a digital photo or copy of any of those.

If the County Council, acting as the Board of Health, acts quickly enough in reviewing the proposal, it could vote on the vaccine passport proposal as soon as Jan. 11. County Council President Gabe Albornoz wrote in a text message on Thursday that he was still reviewing the proposal.

Elrich has been interested for months in having a vaccine passport. But it wasn’t until Washington, D.C., announced on Dec. 22 that it planned to have one that Elrich’s administration committed to also having one for Montgomery County.

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com 

Steve Bohnel

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com