New York has become the first state to launch a coronavirus passport app. The Excelsior Pass provides secure, digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results. There are currently three types of Passes:
- COVID-19 Vaccination Pass (valid for 180 days after the final dose of the vaccine was administered, at which time a new Pass may be retrieved)
- COVID-19 PCR Test Pass (valid until midnight on the third day after a test)
- COVID-19 Antigen Test Pass (valid for 6 hours from the time of a test)
Participation in Excelsior Pass is completely voluntary and free. New Yorkers can store Passes digitally on their smartphones or print them out to present at participating businesses and venues. The Excelsior Pass can be downloaded using the Excelsior Pass Scanner app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and completing a short registration form.
Participating businesses are encouraged to let their customers and employees know that they are using the Excelsior Pass. Businesses will then be responsible for scanning Passes and only allowing entry into their establishment for those with valid Passes or alternate forms of proof of vaccination or negative test results. Employers are required to verify identification by matching the name and birth date on the Pass to a photo ID. The state has a provided a website with information for businesses who wish to participate in the program which can be found here: https://forward.ny.gov/excelsior-pass-business.
According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the goal of the vaccine passport is to fast-track an economic reopening for concerts, sports events, theaters, wedding receptions and other catered affairs. Interestingly, the governors of Florida and Texas, in contrast, have issued executive orders that ban the use of a vaccine passport. The executive orders ban governmental entities from issuing vaccine passports and directs that businesses cannot require documentation of a vaccine to gain access to or service from the business. Businesses are required to comply with this directive in order to be eligible for any grants or contracts that are funded with state revenue.
Should you need any assistance or have questions regarding the new program or any other employment related concerns, please contact ALG.