New Yorkers will need to show ‘COVID-19 passport’ to enter sports stadiums and theaters


New Yorkers will have to show a ‘COVID-19 passport’ showing a negative test result or a vaccination if they want to enjoy a sporting event or watch a movie under a new pilot program.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office announced the initiative, which has been dubbed the ‘Excelsior Pass’, on Tuesday.

The pass, developed in partnership with IBM, is said to be ‘proven and secure technology [that] will confirm an individual’s vaccination or recent negative COVID test. ‘

The initial phase of pilot testing began on February 27 with the Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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New Yorkers will have to show a 'COVID-19 passport' showing a negative test result or a vaccine if they want to enjoy a sporting event or watch a movie under a new pilot program.  The application for the technology is seen above.

New Yorkers will have to show a ‘COVID-19 passport’ showing a negative test result or a vaccine if they want to enjoy a sporting event or watch a movie under a new pilot program. The application for the technology is seen above.

The initial phase of pilot testing began on February 27 with the Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  Testing continued Tuesday night at the New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden (pictured)

The initial phase of pilot testing began on February 27 with the Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Testing continued Tuesday night at the New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden (pictured)

Testing continued Tuesday night at the New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden.

“Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, people will be able to print their card or save it to their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass ‘Wallet App’,” read a statement from the governor’s office.

Each pass will have a ‘secure QR code, which venues will scan using a companion app to confirm someone’s COVID health status.’

Cuomo said the state is “doing everything possible to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible, as quickly as possible, while keeping the infection rate low and revitalizing our economy in a safe and smart way.”

‘As we begin to reopen valves in different sectors of our economy, we are implementing guidelines to ensure that people attending events involving larger gatherings have tested negative for COVID or have been vaccinated to prevent an outbreak of the disease. virus.

“The Excelsior Pass will play a critical role in bringing information to places and sites in a safe and streamlined manner, allowing us to accelerate the reopening of these businesses and move one step closer to reaching a new normal,” he added.

The technology allows users to 'share their verifiable health pass without exposing any of the underlying data used to generate it'

The technology allows users to ‘share their verifiable health pass without exposing any of the underlying data used to generate it’

According to IBM, the Digital Health Pass is 'designed so that an organization can set its own criteria, such as COVID-19 test results and temperature scans'

According to IBM, the Digital Health Pass is ‘designed so that an organization can set its own criteria, such as COVID-19 test results and temperature scans’

IBM Digital Health Pass and how it works

Excelsior Pass and its companion verification application are based on IBM’s Digital Health Pass solution and are designed to allow verification of health credentials, such as test results and vaccination records.

Using blockchain technology, people 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 technology is flexible and built at scale, allowing other states to join in and help foster a safer and more reliable transition to a post-pandemic reality.

How is the Digital Health Pass designed to work?

Step 1: The issuing organization generates a verifiable credential (test results, etc.) and sends it to the person.

Step 2: The person receives the credential and uploads it to their phone so they can share it with a verifying organization.

Step 3: The verifying organization verifies the credential

During his press conference on Wednesday, Cuomo addressed the technology again, saying that the app will be available for download from Google and Apple once it’s approved.

He also assured New Yorkers that they can download the code on paper, print it and use it in place of their phones.

Last month, Cuomo announced reopening guidelines for major stadiums and arenas.

In those guidelines, the aforementioned venues must ensure that all staff and spectators receive a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event.

Participants in the pilot program were predetermined and were able to use the pass to confirm their recent negative COVID-19 test for the Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden events.

On security, the governor’s office said strong protections have been woven throughout the digital health pass solution, ‘giving people a safe, verifiable and reliable way to stay in control of their health information. using an encrypted digital smartphone wallet or a printed credential. ‘

User data is always kept completely confidential and participation is voluntary. The QR code only informs the venue if a pass is valid or invalid, ‘said Cuomo’s office.

According to IBM, the Digital Health Pass is “designed so that an organization can establish its own criteria, such as COVID-19 test results and temperature scans.”

The technology allows users to “share their verifiable health pass without exposing any of the underlying data used to generate it.”

James Dolan, CEO of MSG Entertainment, said: “We are pleased to partner with the state on this important pilot program, which we hope will be another step in helping New York City reopen.”

Some Twitter users took to social media to condemn the new technology.

‘As Texans get their freedom. New Yorkers get a new vaccine passport application to enter buildings, ” wrote one person, referring to Texas’ decision to reopen 100 percent effective March 10.

Another shared: ‘New York requires a COVID passport to enter sporting events at 10% capacity. @NYGovCuomo will never learn. ‘

COVID passport! I’ve been saying that they are going to try to make the vaccine mandatory de facto. You won’t be able to do much without having it. This is, of course, Tyranny, but who’s going to stop him? John Roberts LOL ‘, shared a third.

The technology comes as Cuomo gradually eases restrictions in New York City as positivity rates drop.

The limited indoor dining room returned on February 12, and restaurants allowed customers to seat inside at 25 percent capacity.

Cuomo said theaters will also be able to operate at 25 percent capacity, or up to 50 people per screen, starting March 5, almost exactly one year since they closed.

“Seating, social distancing and other health precautions will be assigned,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter.

Some used Twitter to condemn Cuomo's decision to allow a COVID-19 'passport' to determine how they gain access to certain events.

Some used Twitter to condemn Cuomo’s decision to allow a COVID-19 ‘passport’ to determine how they gain access to certain events.

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