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Monday, July 15, 2024

Sports Teams Demanding Vaccine Passports as Fans Return to Stadiums

'Guests...who cannot present...proof of a COVID-19 full vaccination will not be allowed...'

As fans return to watch professional sports teams, concerns have grown about stadiums requiring vaccine passports for entry.

Oracle Park in San Francisco and Citi Field in New York are among a growing number of locations to now require digital vaccine verification to attend a game in person.

The technology used is an app called Health Pass from Clear.

“Guests holding valid game tickets who cannot present proof of either a negative COVID-19 test within the required timeframes or proof of a COVID-19 full vaccination will not be allowed inside Yankee Stadium,” a New York Yankees statement noted Friday. “Guests may utilize Health Pass by Clear to confirm your COVID-19 test results for the event.”

Major League Baseball is not the only professional sport using the new technology.

The NBA said last month it’s use of the Health Pass app for fan screenings.

One-third of NBA teams were using the app as of April 7, the league said, according to CBS News.

Professional teams believe the technology is important as leagues seek to rebound from millions of dollars in losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NBA, for example, estimated it could lose $3.5 billion during the 2020-2021 season, according to Sportico.

But not everyone is happy with the new system. Some states, including Florida, Montana, Texas and Utah have banned vaccine passports.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, stated that vaccine shots are “entirely voluntary and will not be mandated by the State of Montana, nor compelled through vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other compulsory means.”

Other states have embraced the technology of vaccine passports.

New York has launched its Excelsior Pass that allows residents to attend some sporting events and arts performances. Businesses and venues can also use it to scan at entryways.

The World Health Organization is developing what it calls a digital Smart Vaccination Certificate for international travel.

In Israel, many residents use a green pass to show they’ve been vaccinated, allowing them to enter restaurants, gyms and other businesses.

The U.S. government has said it will not require vaccine passports for travel or business activities. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration’s chief medical adviser for the pandemic, stated vaccine passport like tools will be left to private companies.

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