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Getting a COVID Excelsior Pass in New York once you’re vaccinated: Key to NYC Pass 2024

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With vaccinations for COVID-19 rolling out across the country, it's now time to start thinking about next steps in our attempts to return life to normal. Working from an office, going to events, and gathering in large groups are all things we've shied away from for months, so we're going to need a strategy: Introducing Excelsior Pass.

With the rollout of Key to NYC Pass, New York's initiative of proving vaccination status, it's looking like in New York this will become one of the major ways that individuals will be able to identify that they've been tested negative or fully vaccinated. The term “Vaccine Passport” has been thrown away and this is one of the earliest (if not first) fully working models.

What is the Excelsior Pass NY?

Straight from the source at

Attend sporting events, arts performances and more! Excelsior Pass supports a safe reopening of New York by providing a free, fast and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results. Think of it as a mobile airline boarding pass, but for proving you received a COVID-19 vaccination or negative test.

It's as simple as that, it's your passport to entering everyday life all over again.

Do I really need an Excelsior Pass? Is it optional?

Right now there's no urgent need to sign up because we're still in the early stages, however it's likely that this will change rapidly when the State opens up further and as the Key to NYC Pass rolls out with the requirement of proof of vaccination for people participating in indoor activities.

You don't need one, ever, but it's likely that what you'll be able to do is going to be limited if you don't have a pass!

What is the Key to NYC Pass?

On August 3, 2021:

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City will require proof of vaccination for people participating in indoor activities, including at restaurants, gyms and performances, his latest attempt to spur more vaccinations. The mandate also applies to workers at those places.

As part of the new program, New York City will create a health pass called the “Key to NYC Pass” to provide proof of vaccination required for workers and customers at indoor dining, gyms, entertainment and performances.

What can I use the Excelsior Pass for?

When you have the pass on your phone (or you can print it out) you can show that code to a business or venue and they can scan it to authenticate that you are indeed tested negative or have been fully vaccinated.

The ability to make sure that everyone in large crowds is vaccinated or has returned a negative test very recently will be an important part of returning to normal life.

It's likely that private companies will start relying on these tools as a way of identifying who is safe to join, and America Josh will likely be one of those organizations when the weather firms up and we can start meeting each other outside again!

How does Excelsior Pass work and how do I get one?

Head to the Excelsior Pass NY website here and you will find links to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. From there you will be asked a few questions to identify you and you'll be ready to show off your data!

You will then have an item in your phone's wallet that will allow you to present the code to a scanner in the future!

Is the Excelsior Pass just a way to steal my data about whether I'm vaccinated?

No. Your personal information, name, and birth date are all already attached to your vaccine.

What this is doing is finding the information that is already stored in the database and allowing you to share that with everyone. Rest assured, there are plenty of apps on your phone already that are run by private organizations tracking much more data.

Is Excelsior Pass or something similar coming to my state (outside of NY)?

Most likely. I obviously can't speak for every single state in the US (or other countries around the world) but it's very likely that most, if not all, states will create something like this.

Josh Pugh

Josh Pugh

Josh is a business founding, digital marketing focused, charity driving, community builder from South Australia, living in New York City. After moving in 2017, Josh realized that there was an opportunity to curate and help the community of expats who moved to the United States – and launched America Josh. Josh is also the President of Variety – the Children's Charity of New York, Secretary at The Mateship Foundation, and Founder & CEO at Fortnight Digital.View Author posts

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