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Ticketmaster says it won't require proof of COVID-19 vaccines, but event organizers might

Ticketmaster says any coronavirus screening requirements will be up to event organizers and local health officials.

WASHINGTON — After a report outlined how Ticketmaster is planning to check if customers have COVID-19 or been vaccinated, the company clarified that any requirement of vaccination or negative test to attend concerts will be left up to event organizers.

Ticketmaster is developing a pandemic safety strategy that uses smartphones to confirm whether people have been tested or vaccinated for the coronavirus, Billboard reported Wednesday, quoting Ticketmaster's president Mark Yovic.

According to Billboard, fans would need to verify if they've been vaccinated or tested negative for the virus approximately 24 to 72 hours before the event. The report noted that local health officials would ultimately determine the timeframe of any test.

Ticketmaster said Thursday that it wanted to clarify because "there has been some misreporting around safety protocols." The company says in a statement it won't require a vaccine or test and that venues and planners would make the decision. Ticketmaster is "exploring a number of safety features for event organizers to utilize as they look to welcome fans back to events." 

"Any screening requirements will be up to the individual event organizer and local health guidelines, and not Ticketmaster," the company said on its website. 

Mike Kociela, founder of San Diego-based festival producer Westward Entertainment, told KFMB-TV that a brand like Ticketmaster would be big enough to help the industry make a comeback.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. top infectious disease expert, told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday that vaccines under development "are going to have a major positive impact" if they prove safe and effective. He says they may be available next month and early 2021. Fauci hopes that "the ordinary citizen should be able to get" vaccinated by spring.

New guidance Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that masks also protect those who wear them from COVID-19, not just others around. The U.S. has had more than 10.5 million coronavirus cases, and more than 242,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Ticketmaster stressed Thursday that all ticket holders will be alerted if any COVID-19 screening requirements are implemented. 

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Credit: AP
Ticketmaster and Bud Light signage are seen before Cardi B performs on Super Bowl eve, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Atlanta. (Ryan Kang/AP Images for the NFL)