New York is set to roll out a digital pass app that allows its residents to show proof of being vaccinated so they can go to public events or weddings.
The “Excelsior Pass,” an app similar to that of a “boarding pass,” will streamline verification that a person has either tested negative for coronavirus or received the COVID-19 vaccine. The app, which is free and voluntary, will let users print out their pass or use it on their phones at participating venues and businesses such as movie theaters, sports stadiums, and arenas, along with events such as weddings.
“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, ” Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo explained in a press statement.
New York’s new Excelsior Pass is part of a growing but disjointed effort to provide vaccine ‘passports’ or certifications useful for safe gatherings. https://t.co/stfao2hRGf
— Poughkeepsie Journal (@PokJournal) March 26, 2021
“The question of ‘public health or the economy’ has always been a false choice – the answer must be both. 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,” he added.
While vaccine passports may be seen as a way to return to normal, Bloomberg reported that the vaccine is still not “100% effective,” and similar verification systems if used internationally could possibly “favor rich nations over poorer ones.”
Additionally, the description of the app states that “once you and your party enter an establishment, you will still be asked to follow State and CDC guidance regarding social distancing, face coverings and hand hygiene.”
On Mar. 2, Cuomo announced the pilot testing program for the “Excelsior Pass” app stating that a first successful testing at a Brooklyn Nets game had occurred, and another testing of the app would be done during a New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. (RELATED: Spain Will Keep Record Of Anyone Who Refuses Coronavirus Vaccine: Report)
Cuomo has come under fire for purposely undercounting coronavirus related deaths from nursing homes in the state after previously requiring the homes to take in patients who had tested positive for COVID-19, and is facing an impeachment investigation from the New York State Assembly.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, previously hinted at the possibility that the coronavirus vaccine might be mandatory for things such as travel and school, explaining that it would be something done at the “state level and city level.”