Lamont Administration Explores Possible Vaccine Passport


Tyler Dyer, News Editor

As The Coronavirus case numbers and hospitalizations continue to trend downward in Connecticut, the governor is exploring the possibility of making vaccine verification a digital card, like one being used in major cities already. The Lamont administration is considering the idea, similar to New York’s Excelsior Pass where you walk in and show it or go to a website where you can prove you’re vaccinated. That might take some of the burdens off the restaurants and concert halls, but some think a new state system could be simpler and more secure. “We’ve been flooded since then with a myriad of questions from the business community. The number one at the top is, ‘how do we confirm that people have been vaccinated? We don’t have access to the registry system that the government has access to,'” Chris DiPentima, the CEO and president of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, said. He said a passport could solve that problem.

The state believes it could make it easier for businesses to check on whether someone is vaccinated or not. Scott Dolch with the Connecticut Restaurant Association says it is being used in many major cities already. However, he explains that it is also causing many basic issues and headaches for restaurant owners. He says diners are coming to restaurants saying,”‘I can’t find my card’ or ‘it’s in my car I don’t want to go back.’ Those issues are happening in New York City, and it’s a challenge because ‘that’s a table of two that I needed.” 

It is not just useful for restaurants. The passport can be used for sporting events, concert halls, or major venues. The burning question is, should it be mandatory or voluntary? The governor has said if they do go with a digital vaccine card, it should be voluntary, not mandatory. This is different from New York, where it is required to get into a restaurant, bar, or large venue. This idea is currently only in the exploratory stage. Lamont is just looking into it and is keeping a close eye on how New York is working, and he states it is something else to consider as winter approaches.