New York will be introducing the nation’s first “vaccine passport,” which will allow individuals access to events hosted by participating businesses.
The program, called the “Excelsior Pass,” is an app that allows New Yorkers to present proof that they have received the coronavirus vaccine or have tested negative recently.
“Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app,” says the press release.
“Each Pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of COVID-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination,” continued the release. “An individual’s data is kept secure and confidential at all times.”
The app will not give away any health information when scanned, it will only show a green checkmark if the person falls under the correct criteria or a red “x” for those who do not.
Some major venues, such as Madison Square Garden and Albany’s Times Union Center will began using the app next week. Starting on April 2nd, the pass will expand its support to “smaller arts, entertainment and event venues.”
“New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidance to beat back COVID, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement.
“The question of ‘public health or the economy’ has always been a false choice — the answer must be both,” says Cuomo. “As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass heralds the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening.”
The app will use blockchain technology and encryption to ensure the security of the data.