The announcement of the passport came after Cuomo began gradually easing restrictions in New York City, following a drop in positivity rates. Last month, restaurants resumed serving dine-in patrons at 25 percent capacity months after Cuomo banned indoor dining. Theaters will also be allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity starting March 5.
At the same time, Cuomo has also put new precautions in place. Last month, he announced reopening guidelines that require all staff and spectators of major stadiums and arenas to present a negative test three days before an event. (Related: UK citizens may have to present a vaccine passport before entering pubs and restaurants.)
"As we begin reopening the valves on different sectors of our economy, we are putting guidelines in place to ensure individuals attending events involving larger gatherings have tested negative for COVID or have been vaccinated to avoid an outbreak of the virus," Cuomo said during the press conference.
The Excelsior Pass, Cuomo claims, will play an important role in relaying information to venues in a secure and streamlined way, which will fast-track the reopening of businesses and bring New York closer to a new normal.
"[We] know very little about the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing infection or even asymptomatic disease against several variants circulating in different countries," said Gurdasani.
The World Health Organization also discourages the use of vaccine passports. In a statement in January, agency officials implored countries to refrain from introducing proof of vaccination or immunity as a condition of entry.
Vaccine passports could also discriminate against populations that lack sufficient access to vaccines. Liberty, the U.K.'s largest civil liberties organization, noted that there are several suggestions for immunity passports but none addressed the possibility that these would result in human rights abuses.
These comments come as several countries, including the U.S. and the U.K., are considering whether to introduce COVID vaccine passports to be used for traveling abroad, as well as to grant access to venues such as restaurants and bars.
Learn more about the surreptitious ways people are being forced to get vaccinated at Tyranny.news.
Sources include:DailyMail.co.uk ABCNews.go.com CNBC.com
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