Screening services and the emergence of vaccine passports
We’ve all become accustomed to new kinds of screening processes. Whether you’re entering a medical facility for an appointment, patronizing a shopping centre, or planning a COVID-safe visit with friends, you’ve likely answered a distinct set of screening questions.
When the pandemic began, The West Egg Group rose to the occasion, developing a professional and systematic screening system for a variety of our customers, allowing them to safely screen, then admit or deny entry to their facilities.
We leveraged our expertise in both workforce management and the guest experience to implement Ambassador services at busy shopping centres across the Greater Toronto Area, including:
- Sherway Gardens Mall
- Fairview Mall
- Upper Canada Mall
- Fairview Park Mall (Kitchener)
- Yorkdale Shopping Centre
- Scarborough Town Centre
- Manulife building
- Hillcrest Shopping Centre
- Eatons Centre
What do Ambassadors do?
While this role can easily be adapted to suit the unique needs of each customer and location, our The West Egg Group Ambassadors recently assumed the role of providing COVID screening.
Stationed at each shopping centre entrance, our teams would conduct a brief yet thorough screening of all employees and shoppers visiting the facility to ensure that no one was permitted entry who may pose a risk to the health and safety of those inside. These services allowed numerous businesses to reopen safely and in accordance with legislation that aligned with the rapidly evolving pandemic situation.
Gatsby Valet also adapted their services to offer Door Ambassadors stationed outside of luxury businesses and real estate open houses in partnership with STACS. These individuals screen visitors using a set of questions aimed at ensuring that visitors do not pose a threat to the spread of COVID-19 before entering the space. Additionally, they assist in the management of ingress and egress to maintain a predetermined occupancy rate and issue reminders of physical distancing while on site.
Similarly, our sister company Carraway has also contributed to pandemic relief efforts with large-scale operations across Peel region where teams manage the flow of people at vaccination clinics.
The future of screening: COVID vaccine passports
Around the world, there has been much talk about vaccine passports that prove one’s vaccination status. The idea is that they would be used to grant individuals entry to businesses, facilities, onto modes of transportation, etc.
These documents would confirm that a person was unlikely to catch or spread COVID-19 by verifying that the passport holder has been vaccinated, tested negative, or has recovered from it.
While many countries are entertaining — and some implementing — such vaccine passports, Canada’s position is unclear. Currently, Canada does not have any kind of vaccination passport or standardized document to show who has been vaccinated and who has not. Yet, there is growing pressure for Canada to establish some kind of certificate or passport, as many other countries begin to require this type of documentation for admittance onto airplanes and into their countries. Likewise, insurance companies are also beginning to ask for this information when insuring travellers.
Over 38 countries have implemented/issued COVID-19 passports so far, including: Austria, Barbados, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Thailand, and others.
The pros and cons
The benefits of having, and being able to show a COVID vaccine passport are many. For those fully vaccinated, It will allow you to travel more freely, attend events, possibly accept work that would be otherwise restricted, and more.
As for the drawbacks, there are a few:
Privacy: This is a big one for many people. One’s personal health information is not typically made public. A COVID passport could mean that data is shared with outside companies and potentially be used in ways that are unfair, which brings us to:
Discrimination: Passports would be given to people who are vaccinated and presumed to have immunity, giving them the ability to do things that others cannot. Getting your full vaccination sooner could give you the opportunity to access more opportunities than others still awaiting their turn. Additionally, those opting out of getting vaccinated could lose out on opportunities. There is also the danger of stigmatization among individuals who lack certification.
Science: The vaccines have shown to have great efficacy in reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death for COVID-19, however since this is a novel virus and new strains continue to emerge, scientists aren’t certain if vaccination is enough to halt transmission entirely. We will continue to learn more as more individuals accept the vaccination.
These are just a few of the potential concerns surrounding screening that involve vaccine passports. As new regulations continue to emerge and the business and consumer landscapes shift to adjust, we at The West Egg Group are here to help you navigate the waters and implement a screening process that works for your business.
Talk to us about how to prepare and implement a screening strategy today.