(Credit: Hannah Busing)

New York launches vaccine passport app in a bid to restart live events

Where would the music world be without the cultural hub of New York? From the iconic CBGB’s punk club to the folk scene of Greenwich Village, the city has been a hotbed for live venues which have homed some of history’s greatest music acts and, like everywhere else in the world, it has sadly been beleaguered by the ongoing pandemic. 

Now, however, a vaccine passport app has been launched in a bid to get the show back on the road, after New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced the plan to restart live music earlier this week. 

The app, designed by IBM in conjunction with Excelsior Pass, is a free voluntary platform that uses securely stored data to confirm whether an individual has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for the virus. 

Essentially, the app will act as a virtual boarding pass to permit entry to music venues all over the State. It is likely to be widely rolled out soon following a successful trial. 

In a statement, Governor Cuomo announced, “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.”

Later adding, “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.”

Madison Square Gardens as well as the Times Union Center in Albany have already announced that they will be using the app for forthcoming shows from April 2nd onwards. 

A similar pilot scheme is scheduled to be tested in Liverpool in the coming weeks, with a view to rolling it out in the summer pending the results. 

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