Vaccine Passports for Events Take Hold in Vegas

Frances Ferrante, Senior Editor
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Vaccine Passports for Events Take Hold in Vegas
Vaccine passports land in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS — While use of vaccine passports has been limited until now primarily to the airlines and cruise lines, the technology has recently crossed over to meeting venues in the convention capital of the U.S., Las Vegas.

The first vaccine passport rollout is the digital Heliix Health Passport from Reviv Global. The mobile app, downloadable from the App Store or Google Play, uses an encrypted code to show the results of a recent COVID-19 test. This solution is directly targeted at convention-goers, and works in conjunction with Reviv’s three Las Vegas COVID-19 testing clinics, located at the MGM Grand, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and The Venetian.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. has also announced a similar soon-to-be-implemented passport at The Venetian, Health Pass from Clear, which can show information such as COVID-19 lab results and is gearing up to add vaccination results. Like Reviv, CLEAR has been vocal about how it addresses privacy concerns, in its case by using biometrics of a person’s eyes and face to confirm his or her identity.

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A number of companies are also working on similar solutions for sharing healthcare results, such as IBM’s digital health pass, which relies on its own blockchain technology.

Vaccine-Only Passports?

Could these technologies eventually narrow their focus to vaccinations only? Julia Miles, Reviv’s commercial operations director, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that this is unlikely. “We’re not hearing venues saying that they’ll be looking for vaccinations only. Personally, I don’t think that will happen just because it would be too discriminatory around people who genuinely can’t have the vaccine for whatever reason.”

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The entry of Hyatt Hotels Corporation into the mix indicates that trade show organizers could eventually be limited to hotel-chain–specific solutions for attendee screening in the future. Last month, Hyatt announced plans to explore VeriFLY + Stay, a mobile health passport for the hospitality industry using the VeriFLY app, which provides verification of COVID-19 credentials and travel guidelines.

Hyatt will work show organizers to identify criteria for their events — a vaccination record or a  recent negative COVID-19 test — which would then be communicated to attendees. Once the participants fill out in necessary forms, they will be able to use the app to display a green checkmark for entry to the show.

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“Throughout the pandemic we have stayed close to our customers to understand what’s most important to them and focus on solutions that meet their needs,” said Steve Enselein, senior vice president of Events, Hyatt. “In listening to our customers, we know attendee safety and wellbeing remain top priorities.”