New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office on Tuesday announced a pilot program aimed at checking for Covid-19 vaccinations or negative tests before people can enter certain facilities.
The program, dubbed “Excelsior Pass,” will use specific scanning technology similar to a “mobile airline boarding pass” to confirm “an individual’s vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test through a confidential data transfer to help fast-track the reopening of theaters, stadiums and other businesses in accordance with New York State guidelines,” Cuomo’s office said in a press release on its website.
The program needs to undergo further evaluation and will be tested during upcoming games at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, according to the release.
The technology was already tested during a New York Rangers game on March 2.
In a statement posted on his official website, 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.”
Early in February, Cuomo announced additional guidelines for major stadiums and arenas that will require all visitors to test negative within 72 hours of the event.
Madison Square Garden Company CEO James Dolan welcomed the new initiative and offered his full support to state authorities in successfully implementing the program.
“We are pleased to partner with the state on this important pilot, which we hope will be another step forward in helping New York City to reopen,” said Dolan.
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Author: Damjan Tutarkov
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