But there might be some intra-state collaboration. Throughout the pandemic, for example, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey have worked together to provide uniform COVID-19 regulations. It’s probable that they will team up again to make a vaccine pass that works throughout the tri-state area—or at least allows each state’s vaccine pass be accepted in the other.
I’m not vaccinated. What does this mean for me?
Like we said, many passports or passes also allow you to upload a recent negative PCR test.
When do I need to use the pass?
A New York State spokesperson was quick to stress that the Excelsior Pass is voluntary. (Making it a requirement raises certain ethical questions, as disadvantaged populations have lower rates of vaccination.) Instead, they say, it’s a free—and they think useful—tool offered by the state. Any business can use it if it wants to.
Right now, sports and concert venues are the primary users. Why? Public health-wise, you can’t have a massive arena packed with untested, unvaccinated, or half-vaccinated, people. We’re still in a pandemic. (Plus, using a QR code is just faster and more accurate than having a ticket checker at, say, Yankee Stadium intensely examining everyone’s C.D.C. card.)
People can use it for personal matters, too: Maybe you are having a wedding this summer, and to be safe, you want all your guests to be vaccinated, or recently tested. Instead of requiring everyone to send you a crappy iPhone picture of their C.D.C. card or negative CityMD results, you can just ask them to flash their health pass.
What about for international travel?
We asked an expert: Misty Belles, managing director of Virtuoso. “The reality is that government regulations and border openings will likely continue to fluctuate—so flexibility will be important. Health passes will likely be a requirement, especially given Europe is rolling out the Digital Green Pass to allow for movement and mobility throughout various countries,” she says. “Some countries may take longer to reopen than others, but Greece, Turkey, and Iceland are ready to welcome international visitors who have been vaccinated, while others are looking at vaccinations plus testing.”
This kind of sounds like a logistical nightmare. Will I need to have several different health pass apps and codes?
Yeah. A lot’s been written already about the massive technical challenges and the lack of a universal approach. But we can tell you that one is particularly relevant: The CommonPass.