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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. Photo: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday signed an executive order directing state agencies to not enforce federal coronavirus vaccine mandates, and instead cooperate with the state's attorney general to sue the Biden administration over the requirements.

The big picture: No government entity shall impose any agreement demanding that an employee get vaccinated, the Republican governor's executive order says. It adds that state employees will not be required to present vaccination proof to receive any sort of government service or to enter a government building.

  • Yes, but: It is unclear how impactful the order will be since it can only cover state government agencies, per AP.

Catch up quick: President Biden last month announced that federal employees, including government contractors, will be required to get vaccinated against the virus. He also announced that about 80 million private sector employees will be required to get vaccinated or test weekly for the virus.

  • In her executive order, Ivey called this action an "egregious and illegal federal overreach."

What she's saying: "Alabamians — and Americans alike — should and must have the choice to roll up their sleeves to get this shot and certainly not forced by government. While President Biden laughs at the idea of protecting your freedoms, I will continue fighting for Alabama businesses and their employees," Ivey said in a statement.

  • "I am already working in concert with Attorney General Steve Marshall, because Alabama is standing firm in this fight. This latest move by the federal government is what I believe is an illegal overreach, and I am confident we will win the battle in the courts," Ivey added.
  • "I am adamantly opposed to federal mandates related to the COVID-19 vaccine and adamantly opposed to state mandates related to the COVID-19 vaccine, plain and simple. As long as I am your governor, the state of Alabama will not force anyone to take a COVID-19 vaccine."

The other side: The Alabama Democratic Party said in a statement to the AP that vaccine mandates are "nothing new," adding that the federal government already has other mandates to protect people, including seat belts, restaurant inspections and other vaccines required to attend school or join the military.

Go deeper

Nov 26, 2021 - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.

Nov 26, 2021 - Health

Fauci: U.S. "rushing" to get scientific data about new COVID variant

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

U.S. public health officials were set to speak Friday with their South Africa counterparts as they sought scientific details about a new COVID-19 variant already prompting European and Asian countries to enact new travel restrictions.

Driving the news: Anthony Fauci, President Biden's chief medical adviser, told CNN Friday "we're rushing now to get that scientific data to try and make an informed decision" on a possible travel ban.

Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Health

Europe, Asia tighten borders in fear of new COVID variant

Passengers stand at the check-in at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Boris Roessler/dpa via Getty Images

Countries across Europe and Asia are rushing through new travel restrictions in response to a new COVID variant identified by scientists in South Africa.

The big picture: Israel, Japan, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Singapore are moving to restrict entry from countries in the south of Africa, AP reports. Many are also adding quarantines for their own citizens upon return from the region.

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