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Health passports could be key to audiences returning to live events

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It was showtime this week at City Winery, the music venue on the Hudson River. Audience members were met with a temperature check -- and a scan of an app, but not for their ticket.

Video Transcript

- Now, the White House has made it clear that there will not be any sort of federal requirement for vaccinations, instead leaving the issue up to individual states. And the governors of Florida, Texas, and Idaho, have already signed executive orders forbidding state agencies and businesses from requiring a vaccine. New York, on the other hand, has been on the forefront of so-called vaccine passports. The Excelsior Pass is currently being used across the state. Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg continues our coverage with the look at these vaccine passports.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: It's showtime at City Winery, the music venue on the Hudson River.

- It was my first show. I just went 13 months without a single show.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: But now, before taking in that show comes a temperature check and a scan of an app.

- Perfect. You're all set.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: Here, 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 health survey, integrates recent COVID test results, and soon users will be able to upload their vaccination status. Consider it a health passport.

- There's this pent up demand.

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

MICHAEL DORF: If you wanted to go take a safari in Africa for the last 10 years, you had to go get a yellow fever vaccine before you went. You just had to. That was the rule. We want to keep people safe.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: And well clear we'll give you access to City Winery, one app doesn't fit all. You may end up downloading a number of apps depending on the venue or event.

RUSS D'SOUZA: We have not seen there be one singular app or product for which all venues are using.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: Russ D'Souza, the founder of SeatGeek, a mobile ticket platform, says venues are constantly changing their policies based on CDC and state guidelines. And 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, and some venues will just accept your vaccine card or a recent COVID test.

RUSS D'SOUZA: 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 would be their first event in over a year.

MICHAEL DORF: To be able to see something live again, and the energy and adrenaline that comes both from the performer and the audience, when that comes together, it creates magic. It's really cool.

DESTINI ROBERTSON: Euphoria I've been waiting for. So long my music is just everything. So it was really great.

STEPHANIE ZAHN: Anything in front of me, and I would jump through it to get to my music again.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: So an app like you had to download today?

STEPHANIE ZAHN: So easy. So easy.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: A vaccine passport. It may become as common as a driver's license, allowing society to move ahead as the pandemic rages on. Lauren--