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Fans at a Kip Moore concert in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Ticketmaster's plan to ensure fan safety using a smartphone app could point to the future of air travel, according to SimpliFlying, an aviation consulting company.

Why it matters: People want to know they won't contract the coronavirus traveling on an airplane or attending a big event like a concert.

What's happening: Three global alliances representing 58 airlines are pushing governments to allow widespread COVID-19 testing of passengers instead of existing quarantine restrictions that they argue are ineffective and have killed travel demand.

  • Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam cited recent tests of the CommonPass digital health passport system, a nonprofit initiative backed by the World Economic Forum and Swiss-based foundation The Commons Project.
  • United Airlines is among the carriers that piloted the technology.

Ticketmaster's plan to require a digital health pass for concertgoers might be a model for airlines.

How it works: After purchasing a ticket, fans would need to verify they've been vaccinated or tested negative for coronavirus 24 to 72 hours before the event (depending on local health regulations), Billboard writes.

  • The fan would instruct the lab to share their status with a third-party health information company like CLEAR Health Pass or IBM's Digital Health Pass.
  • The health pass company would verify the attendee's COVID-19 status to Ticketmaster, which would then issue the fan the credentials needed to access the event.
  • Ticketmaster would not have access to fans' medical records and would only receive encrypted verification of whether a fan is cleared to attend an event on a given date.

The bottom line: No heath pass? No admittance. And perhaps, no flying.

Go deeper

18 hours ago - Health

Obama, Bush and Clinton willing to take coronavirus vaccine in public

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 2017. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Barack Obama said during an interview on SiriusXM airing Thursday he'll take the COVID-19 vaccine and "may end up taking it on TV." Representatives for George W. Bush and Bill Clinton told CNN they'd also be willing to be inoculated in public.

Why it matters: The former presidents are hoping to instill confidence in the vaccines once authorized for use in the U.S. NIAID director Anthony Fauci has said the U.S. could have herd immunity by the end of next summer or fall if enough people get vaccinated.

22 hours ago - Health

U.S. exceeds 100,000 COVID-related hospitalizations for the first time

People wait outside the Emergency room of the Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, California on Dec 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

More than 100,200 Americans were hospitalized as of Wednesday due to the coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began in early 2020, per the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The milestone comes as health officials anticipated cases to surge due to holiday travel and gatherings. The impact of the holiday remains notable, as many states across the country are only reporting partial data.

Bipartisan group of lawmakers unveils $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.