Ticketmaster Exploring COVID-19 Vaccination or Negative Test When Concerts Return
UPDATE: Ticketmaster has issued a statement correcting the original report from Billboard:
"It was widely misreported yesterday that Ticketmaster will be requiring vaccine status/test results for future events. This is not true. Ticketmaster does not have the power to set policies around safety/entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols. That is up to the discretion of the event organizer. We are indeed exploring these options, but it is still only a potential concept. And Ticketmaster will not be able to require such parameters – it would always be up to the event organizer."
Ticketmaster is planning for the return of live events in 2021. As a part of the ticketing giant’s new framework, Ticketmaster may require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test within a 24-72 hour window before allowing admission to an event.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Pfizer and BioNTech had developed a COVID-19 vaccine with a 90-percent trial success rate. The trial — which included over 43,000 participants of racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds — showed no serious side effects from the vaccine. Trial participants were given two doses, spaced 21 days apart, meaning the vaccine was effective within 28 days of the first dose, but Pfizer also noted “the final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary” as trials continue.
Pfizer estimates it will be able to produce 50 million COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
The news caused stock prices for live music companies to jump, delivering the first piece of optimism for the live events industry since March 2020. In response, Ticketmaster announced their plans for screening fans before they attended events, which will rely on the Ticketmaster digital ticket app, third party health information companies like CLEAR Health Pass or IBM’s Digital Health Pass, and testing and vaccine distribution providers like Labcorp and the CVS Minute Clinic.
Once a fan receives a COVID-19 vaccine or tests negative for the disease within the 24-72 hour window, a health pass company will deliver that information to Ticketmaster, allowing entry to the event. There is currently no date for when Ticketmaster will no longer require COVID-19 precautions.
Ticketmaster implores that they will not have access to fans’ medical records through this process. Health pass companies plan to deliver data to the ticketing company in a secure, encrypted way that satisfies the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
"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,” Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich tells Billboard.
Ticketmaster also plans to utilize a SmartEvent system, which helps organizers and fans maintain social distancing at shows. Event organizers will be allowed the ability to set their own prevention protocols such as sanitation, mask compliance and social distancing.
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