Late last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state would soon be rolling out a new “vaccine verification system” for private businesses that may be akin to a vaccine passport.
During an event in San Francisco on Monday, Newsom clarified that the “system” will essentially just be electronic vaccine cards that individuals can keep on their phones as opposed to carrying around the paper card.
“It’s not a passport, it’s not a requirement, it’s just the ability now to have an electronic version of that paper version, so you’ll hear more about that in the next couple of days,” he said.
Once the state fully reopens without capacity limits Tuesday, businesses can require individuals to show their vaccine cards to prove they do not need to wear a mask. California is adopting the current CDC guidance that vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask in most settings.
Some states have banned the use of vaccine passports, while most others neither ban nor require them.
New York is offering an “Excelsior Pass” — an electronic proof of vaccination developed by IBM — that some businesses in the state are requiring for entry. The New York Times reported that the state plans to expand the program going forward, with the state possibly using the system to verify a resident’s age, driver’s license status and other health records.
Newsom will announce California’s version of this electronic system later this week.