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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Ticketmaster wants vaccination verification

Do you plan on getting the coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible? What if Ariana Grande makes you get it?

The entertainment industry is trying to figure out what large events might look like post-pandemic. Will crowd sizes remain limited even after a vaccine is distributed? Will attendees still be asked to wear masks? And most importantly, will proof of a COVID-19 vaccination be required?

Ticketmaster, an online site where customers can purchase concert tickets, is one such entertainment-based company wrestling with these questions. Billboard reported last week that fans would be asked to submit proof that they had been vaccinated for COVID-19 or tested negative for the virus prior to the event after purchasing a concert ticket. This would be done through a third-party health company that would upload the customer’s vaccination status to an online forum to which Ticketmaster would have access. The goal, the company said, would be to run this through Ticketmaster’s app.

The plan has not been finalized. Executives at the company are only considering whether it would be possible to screen tens of thousands of screaming fans at the gate — and, more importantly, would it be prudent? And given how many people are wary of receiving a coronavirus vaccine, and given the public’s quick condemnation of Ticketmaster’s proposal, the company will likely decide that requiring proof of vaccination is not in the company’s best interests.

After all, it’s hard to imagine that a group of teenagers looking to attend Justin Bieber’s planned tour will go through the trouble of obtaining their vaccination status from a local pharmacy and then uploading it to Ticketmaster’s app. But who knows? Maybe young people these days are more responsible than I was at that age.

Regardless, Ticketmaster’s proposal does raise important questions about what we should expect in the days ahead. The coronavirus pandemic is not a switch that can be turned on and off, even when a vaccine does become available. So, perhaps Ticketmaster’s vaccination verification process isn’t all that unrealistic.



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