Coronavirus Update New York City: Health passports could be key to audiences returning to live events

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Friday, April 16, 2021
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Lauren Glassberg has more on how health passports could be the ticket to audiences returning to live events safely.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Health passports could become as common as a driver's license. Many believe they are key to larger audiences returning to live events safely.

It was showtime this week at City Winery, the music venue on the Hudson River.

"This is my first show," audience member Kevin McGann said. "I just went 13 months without a single show."

But now, before taking in that show, came a temperature check and a scan of an app.

At City Winery, they're using the Clear app, the same app people use to speed through the security line at the airport, but now it also has a COVID-19 health survey, it also integrates recent test results, and soon users will be able to upload their vaccination status and could function as a sort of health passport.

Apparently asking for that health information isn't overstepping according to Michael Dorf, the founder of City Winery.

"if you wanted to go take a safari you had to get a yellow fever vaccine before you went, that's the rule. We want to keep people safe," Dorf said.

While Clear will give people access to City Winery, there's no one size fits all app.

You may need to download a number of apps depending on the venue or event.

"We have not seen there be one app or product that all venues are using either in New York City or across the country," Russ D'Souza said.

D'Souza, the co-founder of SeatGeek, a mobile ticket platform, says venues are constantly changing their policies based on CDC and state guidelines.

At Madison Square Garden, for example, they're using the Excelsior Pass, New York State's own version of a health passport.

Some airlines are using the Common Pass while some venues will just accept your vaccine card or a recent negative COVID-19 test.

"All these venues want to do whatever they can to ensure that their fans have a great experience when they come back to probably what will be their first event in over a year," D'Souza said. "To see something live again and the energy and adrenaline that comes from the performer and audience when it comes together, it creates magic. It's really cool."

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