Ticketmaster clarifies if proposed COVID-19 testing plans will be required
Now, the company is clarifying a misconception that these proposed policies will be mandatory.
The live music industry saw a glimmer of hope amid the pandemic this week. On Monday, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer revealed that its COVID-19 vaccine showed a 90% efficiency rate during its clinical trial. If the vaccine gets approved by the FDA, the company estimates it will be able to produce 50 million doses by the end of 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
With live events projected to return in late 2021, this latest scientific advancement could make these projections a bit more realistic. For Ticketmaster, they are already developing new policies and procedures for when events do resume.
On Wednesday, Billboard published a report detailing Ticketmaster's plans to implement thorough COVID-19 testing and screening measures for future event attendees. According to the report, Ticketmaster will use smartphones to verify fans’ vaccination status or negative test results before they attend an event.
After purchasing an event ticket, fans will have to verify that they have either been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 at least 24 to 72 hours prior to the start of the event. Once their test is complete, the lab will deliver the results to their health pass company (CLEAR or IBM).
If the test comes back negative or the fan is vaccinated, the company will then verify their status to Ticketmaster. From there, the fan will be issued the credentials needed to attend the event. However, it’s possible fans may be denied entry if they test positive for coronavirus or haven’t been vaccinated. This also potentially applies to those that did not submit any information.
Now, Ticketmaster is clarifying a major misconception that these policies will be mandatory for all future events. On Thursday, the company released a statement saying that these proposed plans are optional. Ultimately, if these policies do move forward, venues and promoters can decide whether or not to implement them.
"It was widely misreported yesterday that Ticketmaster will be requiring vaccine status/test results for future events," the company says. "This is not true. Ticketmaster does not have the power to set policies around safety/entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols. That is up to the discretion of the event organizer. We are indeed exploring these options, but it is still only a potential concept. And Ticketmaster will not be able to require such parameters — it would always be up to the event organizer."
Although some may find these potential plans to be invasive, Ticketmaster will not have access to fans’ medical records. Through the proposed policies, medical providers will deliver status reports to Ticketmaster through a secure and encrypted format. This format will have to follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Along with all of this, Ticketmaster is also developing new SmartEvent technology that makes it easier for venues to comply with social distancing measures.
According to the company’s blog post, the new technology “gives event organizers the ability to adapt protocols to meet evolving needs of capacity, distancing and other logistics throughout the reopening journey for” events.
Within the technology is the Social Distance Seating Tool that uses “custom algorithms” to work out the most efficient way to seat attendees. The tool also allows organizers to maximize a venue’s capacity while still following social distancing rules. Ticketmaster is also developing a Timed Entry Tool that gives attendees a special arrival time for events. This development will allow for more efficient crowd control before a show.
For now, we will just have to see how these proposed plans play out when live events do resume. Although some venues may choose to not implement these policies, it's possible some areas of the country may see these screening and social distancing measures go into effect as early as next year.
What are your thoughts on Ticketmaster's proposed COVID-19 screening measures? Do you think they should be mandatory? Let us know in the comments below.