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Ticketmaster exploring verifying fans' vaccine status before issuing concert passes

Ticketmaster exploring verifying fans' vaccine status before issuing concert passes
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Ticketmaster is working on a plan to verify the vaccination status of concertgoers once a coronavirus vaccine is available, Billboard reported Wednesday.

Hoping to recover from the decimating effect the coronavirus pandemic had on the entertainment business and venues, Ticketmaster told Billboard it has been working on a framework to verify vaccination status and COVID-19 results through phones.

Billboard notes the plan relies on three parts: Ticketmaster’s digital app, third-party health information companies and vaccine distribution partners such as CVS Minute Clinic and Labcorp.

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The system, as it is planned out now, will require those who purchase a ticket to verify they have been vaccinated or have tested negative for the coronavirus 24 to 72 hours before the event. Ticket holders would need to ask the lab to deliver the results to health pass companies such as CLEAR or IBM. Once the vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test is confirmed, Ticketmaster will send the needed credentials to attend the event.

The Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved any third-party companies to provide the required technology that would give real-time vaccination results. Mark Yovich, president of Ticketmaster, said he believes that the demand for such technology will rise as it will be needed for the airline industry, employment and theme parks, creating an entire COVID-19 tech sector.

"We’re already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting — whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval — which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified," Yovich told Billboard.

According to Billboard, Ticketmaster hopes this program will result in fans getting tested or vaccinated before arriving at the concert and not going and hoping that testing will be available onsite.

The ticketing company says it will not have access to customers’ medical records. It says it will only receive a verification on whether the fan is cleared to attend. Billboard notes that health pass companies send data that is encrypted to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

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Marianne Herman of reBUILD20 says science and technology will be integral to making live events not only possible, but safe. Her company, reBUILD20, solely focuses on helping the entertainment industry adapt and plan around the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Integrating ticketing platforms with the guests verified testing results is one key way to reimagine how we’re going to get fans back to live events," said Herman. "The experience of attending live events will look completely different, but innovation married with consistent implementation will provide a framework to get the live sports and event industry back to work.”

Ticketmaster tickets most sporting leagues and concert venues, Billboard reports, so if this plan is successful it could go a long way in reviving the sports and entertainment industry.