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Image courtesy of the Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul
Image courtesy of the Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul

Hochul announces acceptance of Canadian vaccination credentials for business entry in NYS


Wed, Nov 17th 2021 05:15 pm

Represents first credential exchange between New York and a non-US entity

√ COVID-19 vaccine certificates issued from 7 Canadian provinces/territories can be validated through state's Excelsior Pass scanner app

√ Excelsior Pass Plus now updated to include New Yorkers' booster or additional dose

√ Eligible New Yorkers can retrieve their Excelsior Pass Plus here

√ Organizations and businesses nationwide can download free Excelsior Pass scanner app here

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced digital COVID-19 vaccination credentials issued from Canadian provinces and territories that adhere to SMART Health Cards specifications will immediately be accepted through the state's Excelsior Pass scanner application. Following the reopening of the U.S.-Canadian border, this means fully vaccinated Canadians can use their compatible vaccination credentials for business entry in New York.

As of Nov. 9, seven provinces and territories in Canada issue vaccine certificates that meet the state's criteria. This includes Québec, Manitoba, Yukon, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland and Labrador. Additional Canadian provinces and territories are expected to follow and will be announced soon.

"New York state is proud to work with our Canadian neighbors to ensure compatibility with our Excelsior Pass scanner application," Hochul said. "With the border reopened, this important partnership will accelerate the return of critical business, commerce and economic development activity. This is significant news for so many Canadians – and the New York businesses and corporations who employ and stand ready to welcome them – who can now do so safely. Because of the constant innovation of our Excelsior Pass platform, New York state continues to build tools that meet the needs of today as well as the emerging needs of tomorrow for individuals and businesses alike."

As announced by Hochul on Oct. 5, New York's Excelsior Pass scanner application was updated to enable the validation of other passes that meet the state's standards of issuance. These standards include the definition of fully vaccinated based on federal and state COVID-19 public health guidance, which include both CDC- and WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Advancing the acceptance of vaccination credentials with non-U.S. entities, Canadian residents who received the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine and hold a compatible credential will be able to use their digital certificate statewide.

Khawar Nasim, acting consul general of Canada in New York, said, "As my fellow Canadians make their way back to New York to visit its many attractions, reconnect with family and friends, and bolster our business ties, I'm pleased and grateful that their provincial and territorial vaccine credentials will be recognized using the Excelsior Pass scanner."

To date, over 163,000 downloads of the Excelsior Pass scanner application have been made. The expansion of the scanner application's capabilities helps businesses accept more patrons coming from outside of New York. Following this announcement, in addition to the seven Canadian provinces and territories, this also includes passes issued by other states such as California, Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Virginia and Washington.

New York was the first in the nation to launch a proof of COVID-19 vaccination and negative test credential system. To date, over 6.6 million Excelsior Passes, including more than 1 million Excelsior Pass Plus, have been issued. As part of this update, New Yorkers who received their booster or additional COVID-19 vaccine dose can now retrieve their Excelsior Vaccination Pass Plus, which, does not expire. New Yorkers who previously received their Excelsior Vaccination Pass Plus can visit epass.ny.gov at any time to retrieve their new Pass Plus. Individuals may hold as many passes as they may be eligible for.

To download New York state's Excelsior Pass Blueprint, visit the link here.

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