Webinar Wednesdays February 17, 2021: Planning for Spring Break During the Pandemic
Webinars | February 8, 2021
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Updated: March 18, 2021 | Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn
On a recent Webinar Wednesday, we had an attendee ask a question that we’re sure many of you are contemplating: Will attractions ask for proof of vaccination as a requirement for entry?
Long story short: No, we don’t envision attractions requiring proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine for a guest to purchase a ticket or enter an attraction. At least not right now.
But, it is a long story. So let’s dive a bit deeper into what we’re seeing in the global industry right now.
Vaccination Credential Initiatives
Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, The Commons Project Foundation, Mayo Clinic and seven others have created the Vaccination Credential Initiative, an effort to give consumers digital access to their vaccination records in a secure, verifiable and privacy-preserving way to support the return to travel, work, school and more.
There are also additional “passport” like solutions that are being created. The Commons Project, The World Economic Forum and a broad coalition of public and private partners are collaborating to launch CommonPass, a trusted, globally-interoperable platform for people to document their COVID-19 status (health declarations / PCR tests / vaccinations) to satisfy country entry requirements, while protecting their health data privacy.
IATA Travel Pass is working to implement a global and standardized solution to validate and authenticate all country regulations regarding COVID-19 passenger requirements that will incorporate four open sourced and interoperable modules which can be combined for an end-to-end solution. And then there’s IBM Digital Health Pass, part of IBM Watson Works, which is designed to provide organizations with a smart way to bring people back to a physical location, such as a workplace, school, stadium or airline flight. Built on IBM Blockchain technology, the solution is designed to enable organizations to verify health credentials for employees, customers and visitors entering their site based on criteria specified by the organization.
Early Attempts At Answering This Question
Ticketmaster received flack back in November when a story broke that they wanted to use smartphones in the US to verify that fans were disease free to enter an event. Here’s how it would work:
After purchasing a ticket, buyers would need to prove they had been vaccinated within the past year, or recently tested negative within 72 hours before an event. Test results would be delivered to a health pass company like CLEAR or IBM at the request of the ticket buyer. These companies would pass the info on to Ticketmaster. If the results were negative, or the buyer had been vaccinated, Ticketmaster would issue a digital ticket via their app. If the buyer tested positive or could not provide proof of vaccination, they would not receive a digital ticket and could not enter the event. Ticketmaster would never receive any personal medical data or medical records and would only receive a confirmation that the buyer could or couldn’t attend the event.
In reality, Ticketmaster was simply working through a technology process to develop options in case new regulations or best practices are instituted in the future. But the company has no plans of requiring fans to have been vaccinated to enter a venue. The backlash from the report was telling enough though.
So… Will Attractions Ask for Proof of Vaccination?
At Shanghai Disney Resort, guests must register for the Chinese Health QR Code prior to arrival, which is required to be presented upon entering any location at the Resort. Only guests with a green Health QR Code will be allowed to enter the resort.
China is using the Health QR Code in other public sectors as well – for example public transportation. It appears that in many or most scenarios, QR codes are just being visually checked by an attendant to acknowledge the color and grant admission. This is important, because right now we don’t foresee ticketing and guest experience solutions integrating directly with any of the vaccination credential technologies.
But while mandated proof of vaccination or negative test results has taken hold in other countries, we don’t see it happening for attractions in the United States – at least not right now, because of privacy, personal freedom and government overreach concerns. Unfortunately, vaccination is as political as it is public health initiative in the US, and attractions won’t foray into requiring vaccinations unless the US government does. Barring a new massive increase in diagnoses and deaths or some other unpredictable COVID phenomenon, we don’t see this happening.
But we would like to identify one potential exception: Once the majority of the population is vaccinated, we could see attractions using vaccination requirements or at least tracking the vaccination status of their guests in order to increase their capacity limits. Could local and state governments require proof of appropriate safety measures as a requisite for increasing an attraction’s capacity? We don’t know, but it’s clearly a possible option. And one way to prove you’re safe would be to require proof of vaccination for all guests, or at least provide the data that xx% of your guests are vaccinated.