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Do New York Businesses Require Vaccine Passports?

America’s first-ever vaccine passport hit the Big Apple first in April through the “Excelsior Pass Wallet” mobile app. This program will provide users with a ‘pass’ (much like an airline boarding pass) consisting of a QR code that, when scanned, will display the customers’ COVID-19 vaccination status. A green check will appear if you have been vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID-19. A red ‘X’ will show up if not.

Many stores, venues, and restaurants in New York, including Madison Square Garden, have already adopted proof-of-vaccination policies.

The fact is that such policies can make it harder to do business in our current global scenario. Most of the population and states are opposed to the idea of demanding proof-of-vaccination from employees and customers. In addition, not all people are buying into the concept of the vaccine passport, raising legal and ethical issues regarding whether governments and businesses can mandate vaccinations for customers or staff.

So far, only Hawaii officially requires travelers to show proof of vaccination or passing a COVID test before arriving to avoid spending ten days in quarantine.

New York, California, and Louisiana offer residents the digital mobile app to voluntarily provide proof of vaccination. New Yorkers do not have to provide evidence that they received the vaccine to access public or private areas. Crowded venues may require a vaccine passport or masks, as experts argue that these mandates aren’t needed.

As a private business owner, you have the legal right to refuse or agree to do business with whomever you want. The best way to make sure you’re able to continue doing business in New York is to stay up-to-date on the state’s dynamic COVID-19 protocols.


If you value and care for your staff, offering benefits like health insurance is a great way to ensure your team has access to good quality healthcare when they need it the most. Learn more by visiting NYsmallhealth.com or get in touch with us, some of the most experienced insurance consultants in New York.

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