Governor Newsom announced Monday that a new vaccine verification system would be rolled out by California soon.
The new system will be comprised of digitized versions of all official vaccination cards, similar to New York’s Excelsior Pass. While more details will be coming in a larger announcement soon, Newsom reiterated that it will not be a passport and that vaccinations will still not be required.
“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,” said Newsom in San Francisco on Monday.
📣 California is set to fully reopen on June 15 & pulling out all the stops to get more Californians vaccinated. 🎉 Check out the #VaxFTW incentives you can get next week!
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) June 11, 2021
While most mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions are to end Tuesday, especially after Cal/OSHA removed the proposed lengthening of mask mandates for places such as businesses through at least the end of July, businesses can require customers to show a vaccination card to enter their place of business without a mask. However, many businesses have feared that forged or copied vaccination cards could be a simple bypass, with the state concerned with people losing the small vaccination card as well.
An electronic version could help cut back on false cards, although, since a physical card will likely be used, it is unknown how successful the new system would be.
The California Department of Health and Human Services (CHHS) noted last week that businesses can choose to simply ask customers if they are fully vaccinated in an “honor system” sort of way, still require masks, or ask for proof of vaccination.
While the official announcement is still several days away, many businesses are already gearing up for the new systems when the state reopens on Tuesday.
An electronic vaccination card
“Most places will simply have no masks and that’s the end of it,” explained Dan Sherwood, a business health and safety consultant, to the Globe on Monday. “That’s what most are saying. Now some businesses will card, usually more of those higher density places or businesses where vulnerable people who can’t take the vaccine are located. And some will even have bouncers, some being trained the last week on how to spot a fake vaccination card. The state has yet to address what happens in that situation, when the business thinks someone has a fake card and aren’t allowed in, but that will definitely be an issue. Like bars and clubs that check for being over 21, some businesses will check for vaccination.”
“Others that do the honor system are pretty much going to do it that way to not look reckless and just call off all masks, but also want a return to casualness.”
“But the main takeaway from the electronic card is that they are trying to do away with fakes the best they can right now. But we should know more about that soon.”
Governor Newsom also announced the newest in the long line of vaccination incentives on Monday unveiling a statewide drawing for one of six vacation packages on July 1st. Working with California tourism group Visit California and numerous hospitality companies, six vaccinated Californians will be chosen at random to receive a “California Dream Vacations” trip to either Anaheim, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, or San Francisco. San Diego will have two trips offered, with all trips being for four people except for the Palm Springs package.
“As we move forward to a post-pandemic life, our tourism sector is expected to come roaring back – making us, once again, a global leader in hospitality and leisure,” added Newsom on Monday.
The next vaccination milestones are expected to be hit later this week, with the state reopening on Tuesday and 10 $1.5 million vaccination lottery winners expected to be announced.
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