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Ticketmaster clarifies confusion around digital health pass

Live Nation-owned ticketing giant Ticketmaster has addressed confusion around reported plans to check fans’ vaccine or test status for concerts.

Following early results shared on Monday of the world’s first effective coronavirus vaccine which could prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid, the ticketing platform is exploring the potential of syncing with third-party healthcare providers to link covid vaccine status and/or test results to fans’ digital tickets.

However, the company has clarified that there is “absolutely no requirement from Ticketmaster mandating vaccines/testing for future events” and that it “does not have the power” to set policies around such safety/entry requirements – which are up to the discretion of the event organiser.

Should the company progress with plans for a digital health pass, all health information would legally have to be stored with a 3rd party health care provider with HIPAA compliance, not with Ticketmaster.

“We imagine there will be many third-party health care providers handling 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,” says Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich.

“Ticketmaster’s goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events, and is working to create integrations to our API and leading digital ticketing technology as we will look to tap into the top solutions based on what’s green-lit by officials and desired by clients.”

“We imagine there will be many third-party health care providers handling vetting which could then be linked via a digital ticket”

While Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino recently said in the company’s Q3 earnings call: “We are working on a roadmap to get back to live safely. We are encouraged by progress on testing technology treatments and vaccines which will help us build our plans.”

Meanwhile, the ticketing giant has been developing SmartEvent, a new suite of technology to help event organisers adapt to Covid-19 protocols and safely welcome fans back to events.

While Ticketmaster says it’s merely exploring the idea of a digital health passport of sorts, the UK’s Premier League is close to agreeing a blueprint with the government for a similar premise, according to The Telegraph.

Chief executive Richard Masters has apparently told Whitehall the league wants to be at the forefront of a road map for sports, concert halls and festivals and has repeatedly suggested digital passports.

The UK has already ordered 40 million doses – enough to vaccinate up to 20 million people as each person will need two doses for it to work effectively.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, earlier this week, health secretary Matt Hancock said it is “absolutely a possibility” that the vaccine would become available before Christmas but he expects a mass roll-out “in the first part of next year”.


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