Culture organizers hope on vaccine passes to increase audiences

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Jazzkaar 2020. Source: Siiri Padar

As the number of people who have recovered from the coronavirus or have been vaccinated for it grows, the culture sector and event organizers are looking at ways to increase spectator capacities once a vaccination certificate is put to use.

Although there is practically no way to put on events now, the culture sector is already looking for opportunities to make the most of the post-coronavirus situation. The assumption is that the 50 percent spectator capacity regulation will once again be imposed.

Organizers are discussing among themselves if they can increase spectator numbers if some of the visitors are either vaccinated, or have recovered from the coronavirus. One of the leaders of these discussions is Jazzkaar producer Eva Saar.

"We can see that it is possible through the ticket sale system. When a ticket is bought, you can add that you have received the vaccine and also add your vaccine certificate number. In addition to your ticket, your vaccine certificate and identity is checked on location," Saar said, adding that both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people must have the same opportunities.

"We certainly do not want a solution where only vaccinated people would have an advantage," she said.

An arrangement such as this requires a safe and secure system that helps prove the person is either vaccinated or recovered. One system is already being developed in Estonia - a vaccination certificate that gathers peoples' data from the digital registry and generates a certificate that allows the person to travel abroad.

Marten Kaevats, digital affairs adviser to the Government Office of Estonia, noted that a traveler would not have to worry about local restrictions with this certificate. However, he is still not sure if it would work as a domestic solution.

"This has to be a greater societal discussion, since there are many topics touching on human rights and ethics," Kaevats noted. "I personally would like to dance a little and see my friends and if we can do that safely, I would love that. But it is a wider and larger topic, there is no clear answer."

Eva Saar said that spectator restriction discussions have also reached healthcare experts and Ministry of Culture representatives. When it comes to data protection, Saar said people would maintain the freedom to not publish their vaccination information and instead acquire a regular ticket.

"It is a temporary solution for sure because at one point, we do not need to make such exemptions. Once the number of vaccinated and recovered people is high enough," Saar noted.

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise has assessed that discrimination and division of society is constitutionally prohibited. The justice chancellor also said it is also unconstitutional to create exemptions based on the number of antibodies a person has.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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