New York has become the first state to launch a COVID vaccine passport, for travel, events, and restaurants.
Excelsior Pass is a “free, voluntary platform” developed in partnership with IBM, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, “which utilizes proven, secure technology to confirm an individual’s recent negative PCR or antigen test result or proof of vaccination to help fast-track the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines.”
The pass is available to print or store on a smartphone using an app. Each pass will have a QR code, which is scannable by businesses and venues who choose to participate.
Many major venues have decided to use the new technology, including Madison Square Garden in New York City and the Times Union Center in Albany. Excelsior Pass will also expand to smaller arts, entertainment, and event venues in the coming week.
“We are grateful the state is focused on doing everything possible to reopen businesses across our region safely and quickly,” said James Dolan, executive chairman of MSG Sports and executive chairman and CEO of MSG Entertainment. “The Excelsior Pass will play an important role in allowing people to gather safely, which will be critical to New York’s recovery. We were proud to be part of the Excelsior Pass pilot and look forward to participating in the program.”
The Excelsior app held two different pilot demonstrations to test the technology, and thousands of New Yorkers have already participated and given feedback.