For several months, Connecticut has been considering launching a vaccine passport similar to New York’s Excelsior Pass.
Now, that is expected to become a reality this week.
Outside the governor’s residence on Sunday, dozens protested with some holding signs saying, “Stop Vaccine Passports.”
“We just need choice. We can’t divide people. If we want to keep this country together, you don’t divide people,” Mary Ellen Albini, of Branford, said.
The Lamont administration tells NBC Connecticut what it calls "digital health cards "will launch this week and the governor has stressed it will be voluntary for businesses and people.
“We don’t need mandates. I’d like to think that people here are going to do the right thing,” Gov. Lamont said on Friday.
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Lamont believes this system will make it easier and more secure for businesses if they want to check someone’s vaccination status.
People can download the card with a QR code to their phone from a state website.
“I think it would be a good step forward to make things simpler for everybody and have a nice, handy way to do it without having something else in your wallet to worry about losing,” said Ed Dingus, general manager of Toad’s Place in New Haven.
Concertgoers already must show proof of vaccination or provide a negative COVID-19 test result.
“The number of customers we lost is minuscule. I think we’ve actually gained customers coming in because they feel safer knowing we are doing something to make sure the other people around them are as safe as possible as well,” said Dingus.
While Republicans have been calling for public hearings, Lamont said he’s open to doing that when the legislature meets in February.
The governor said privacy is being taken seriously and that they are working with an existing provider, which already has the database of everyone who was vaccinated.
“It’s absolutely private. It cannot be shared by contract, by law,” Lamont said on Friday.
While the platform is officially launching this week, people can already find their vaccination record on the Department of Public Health website and then choose to download the card or print it.