Ticketmaster May Require People Provide Negative COVID Test To Attend Events
Ticketmaster is poised to ask customers for a negative COVID-19 test or confirmed vaccination status in order to attend events.
Throughout the pandemic, the future of live music and other events has been rather uncertain. While social distancing and masks can easily be enforced in the likes of cinemas and shops, gigs and concerts pose a more difficult workaround, particularly in the case of standing tickets where attendees would usually be crammed together.
However, hope has emerged this week with news of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, said to be 90% effective in immunising the virus.
The ticket provider is currently developing plans for concertgoers to confirm they’ve received the vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test within a 24 to 72-hour window, Billboard reports. For event managers, this could mean a firm return to business sometime in 2021.
There’s three necessary components for the plan to work; Ticketmaster’s app, third-party health information companies, and testing and vaccine providers – the specific examples of which will vary across the world.
As details of the plan suggest, customers would be asked to verify their vaccination (providing one year of protection) after purchasing a ticket, or given the option of testing negative for coronavirus 24-72 hours prior to the event, with the length of time dependent on the decisions of regional health authorities.
Following the test, the ticket-holder would send the results to a relevant health information company, such as CLEAR or IBM. They would then pass on the customer’s COVID-19 status to Ticketmaster, which would later permit the fan to attend the event. It’s hoped this will stop people from showing up at gigs hoping to get tested.
According to US legislation with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Ticketmaster wouldn’t hold customer health records. Companies would be required to transfer only the necessary data in a secure, encrypted fashion.
While approval on services required to make this a reality is still pending, Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich expects an uptick in investment in the sector as the industry prepares for resurrection.
He told the outlet, ‘We’re already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the 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.’
Yovich added, ‘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.’
Marianne Herman, co-founder of COVID-19 entertainment and live event strategist reBUILD20, echoed the need for technology and science to come together in order for people to return to venues.
She said, ‘Integrating ticketing platforms with the guests verified testing results is one key way to reimagine how we’re going to get fans back to live events. The experience of attending live events will look completely different, but innovation married with consistent implementation will provide a framework to get the live sports and event industry back to work.’
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