New Yorkers, Meet Your 'New Normal' to Enter Stadiums, Theaters

Posted: Mar 04, 2021 9:55 AM
New Yorkers, Meet Your 'New Normal' to Enter Stadiums, Theaters

Source: AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool

New Yorkers, whether they like it or not, are going to be forced to live a “new normal” even as more residents receive the COVID-19 vaccine and cases decline. Part of this “new normal” is the introduction of what many are dubbing vaccine passports, which residents will need to show if they want to enjoy sporting events, concerts, and the like — and that’s just for now. Who knows what else Big Government will force you to become vaccinated to patronize.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that a pilot program is being rolled out that will allow customers entry into stadiums and theaters.

“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's ‘Wallet App,’” a press release from the governor’s office states. “Each pass will have a secure QR code, which venues will scan using a companion app to confirm someone's COVID health status. The results of the pilot program will be used to enhance the quality of the application, maximizing return on investment and saving development time, prior to submission to Apple and Google for approval to go into their app stores.”

The Excelsior Pass was developed in partnership with IBM and will allow users to prove vaccination status or that an individual recently received a negative COVID-19 PCR test within three days of the event.

"We're doing everything we can to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible, as quickly as possible, while keeping the infection rate down and reenergizing our economy in a safe, smart way," Cuomo said. "As we begin reopening the valves on different sectors of our economy, we are putting guidelines in place to ensure individuals attending events involving larger gatherings have tested negative for COVID or have been vaccinated to avoid an outbreak of the virus. The Excelsior Pass will play a critical role in getting information to venues and sites in a secure and streamlined way, allowing us to fast-track the reopening of these businesses and getting us one step closer to reaching a new normal." 

The governor’s office stressed the privacy and security of the pass.

“Using blockchain technology, individuals will be able to voluntarily share their health status through an encrypted digital wallet on their smartphone without the need to share underlying medical and personal information,” the statement continued. “The technology is flexible and built to scale, allowing other states to join and help foster a safer, trusted transition to a post-pandemic reality.” 

Some fear these types of proof of vaccination apps will be replicated to such a scale it will turn out to be a dizzying nightmare.