New York Celebrates over 2 Million Excelsior Pass Vaccine Passports Issued, Offers Special Perks

This illustration photo taken in Los Angeles on April 6, 2021 shows a person looking at the app for the New York State Excelsior Pass, which provides secure, digital proof of a Covid-19 vaccination, in front of a screen showing the New York skyline. - As the United States' vaccination …
CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images

New York officials are celebrating over 2 million Excelsior Passes, a vaccine passport, issued across the state, offering perks to Excelsior Pass holders such as exclusive access to the Empire State Building.

New York State has rolled out the Excelsior Pass, an app developed in partnership with IBM that allows a user to quickly show proof of vaccination or a negative test. According to Cuomo’s office, 2 million Excelsior Passes have been issued since its launch in March, though his office emphasizes that the vaccine passport remains voluntary:

As the state aims to get 70 percent of the population vaccinated, Cuomo announced a partnership with the Empire State Realty Trust, which will “now utilize Excelsior Pass at all of its New York State properties, leveraging the innovative, verifiable technology to support New York’s getting back to work – and fun,” according to his office:

Beginning June 9, 2021, any Empire State Realty Trust tenant or visitor in New York will be able to present their Excelsior Vaccination Pass as proof of COVID-19 vaccination and skip the buildings’ screening procedures which include temperature screening. This initiative will roll out to ESRT’s portfolio of commercial buildings in New York State, including the Empire State Building and benefit approximately 600 companies. The company’s entire portfolio covers 10.1 million rentable square feet, including 11 office properties in New York State, with nine specifically located in Manhattan and two in Westchester County, New York.

As part of the promotion, the Empire State Building is holding special events for vaccinated Excelsior Pass holders only:

The Empire State Building’s iconic Observatory will host an exclusive “Excelsior Pass Sunrise” event for vaccinated patrons on June 13, open to those who present proof of COVID-19 vaccination with Excelsior Pass. From June 10-26, the Empire State Building will offer Excelsior Pass holders and vaccinated patrons exclusive “Excelsior Celebration” access to experience its world-famous Observatories mask-less on Thursday from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m., as well as Friday and Saturday nights from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Throughout the promotion, Excelsior Pass holders will have the opportunity to purchase 86th/102nd floor Observatory combination tickets at a discounted rate – giving New Yorkers yet another special reason to get vaccinated. The Empire State Building will also host a vaccine pop-up with NYS over the coming month.

“The Empire State Building is one of the Empire State’s most iconic symbols – and these special events will help New Yorkers safely return to the activities and attractions they have missed and provide yet another reason to get vaccinated,” the Democrat governor said in a statement.

“For decades, the Empire State Building has represented the entrepreneurial spirit of New York and we are working to get New Yorkers back to the office by utilizing Excelsior Pass at their office buildings, enabling more people to get back to work safely so we can build back better than ever before,” he added.

Other states have taken divisive action against the rollout of vaccine passport programs, including AlabamaFlorida, and most recently, Texas.

“The Texas Legislature passed a law that I’m about to sign that prohibits vaccine passports in Texas. No business or government entity can require a person to provide a vaccine passport or any other vaccine information as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said before signing the measure on Monday:


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